My Soup Is Too Spicy. How Do I Fix It?

Updated on July 5, 2017

Help! My soup is too spicy!

Did tasting your soup make you (and possibly an innocent bystander) a little wild around the eyes? Fear not! Natural, household remedies exist that will fix your concoction before it's too late. An everyday kitchen will house all the materials you need to douse the fiery inferno that you've created, without butchering the taste.

Before we begin, I'll be covering a plethora of techniques in order to cover as many options as possible. Use the checklist on the right and make a note of what you have at your disposal, they'll come in handy later. Bear in mind that you won't need every item on the list, but anything you do have will increase your options and give you more control over the end product's taste.

What Can I Use to Make My Soup Less Spicy?

The Checklist
Yogurt, Coconut Milk, or Sour Cream
Toss It Out

1) Death By Potato

The quasi-miraculous absorbing powers of the potato can kill some of the burn quite efficiently. Slice a potato into several sections and let the pieces float in the soup (around 20 minutes, flame on low!). The potato will soak up excess salt and spice, dimming the heat noticeably.

Warning: This method is held by some to be merely a placebo because the potato does not selectively absorb excess nutrients but instead acts like a sponge.

Solution rating: 2/5 I gave this a couple of points because of the general ease of use and availability of potatoes, and because this method will not taint the soup's taste. Unfortunately, while many swear this method works (usually an ancestral heirloom), I don't see how it can efficiently solve the problem.

2) Fighting Fire With Sugar

Sweetening a soup with a fistful of sugar will remove the bite. Take a tablespoon of granulated sugar and stir it in the soup until it has visibly dissipated. It is better to do this in stages to make sure the dish does not become too sweet, or likely to send the kids plowing through the kitchen on a sugar high.

Warning: Adding too much sugar will butcher the taste somewhat. Unless you're a sugar addict, in which case: Bon voyage.

Solution rating: 2/5 If done carefully, the sugar solution is both cheap and accessible as well as time-efficient. But in this case you are literally playing with fire as solace may come at the price of flavor. If you are confident you know what you are doing, go for it. If not, my advice is to stear clear.

3) Sour cream, yogurt and coconut milk, oh my!

If you aren't flatly refusing to tamper with your creation out of principle, then adding these dairy products to your soup will soothe its temper. There are two main ways to approach the dilution of spice with these additives, directly and indirectly. If you want to directly address the spice issue, simply add the aforementioned ingredients slowly, and in stages. Yogurt words wonders with chili and curry.

If you are pleased with the piquant taste, and do not want it altered, serving dairy products on the side will assuage the fire. This way, your soup remains -- well -- yours, and the pain becomes tolerable.

Warning: Once again, if we directly mix the dairy products with the soup we run two risks. Firstly, we make ruin our carefully achieved taste. Secondly, if you are preparing the soup for an unknown party of guests, you will exclude and potential embarrass lactose intolerant diners.

Solution rating: Direct - 3/5 Indirect - 1/5 or 4/5 (depending on who is eating and their tastes).

4) The Common Sense Approach

Correcting your soup with logic can be the best approach, assuming you have enough ingredients. The solution involves making more of the same, with less spice. The process will inevitably lead to a lower concentration of spice at the cost of -- cost. This may not necessarily be a problem if you are making a dinner-for-two, as a dinner-for-three isn't that big of a sacrifice. But in large quantities, it may not be worth the effort. In my case, I usually find that the power of pride compels me, short of getting a bank loan.

Warning: May cost you an arm and a leg.

Solution rating: 4/5 If you can afford it, 0/5 if you can't.

The Round-up

As you can clearly see, an overly spicy soup is never a lost cause. In fact, you may even end-up improving the taste (granted -- unlikely). I hope you enjoyed this hub, please feel free to share any thoughts or methods on the comment section below and I'll do my best to incorporate them as soon as possible!

Thanks for stopping by!



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    • toolongdidntread profile image

      toolongdidntread 6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Hmm... what about dilution? Adding water would expand the density of the spiciness, resulting in a lower spicy-unit-per-cubic-centimeter rating, which is the official rating system of the International Spicy Soup Consortium (ISSC).

    • profile image

      Sue 6 years ago

      I made some vegetable soup. I followed the recipe but found out that it had too much of a sweet taste to it. The recipe called for 3 t. beef bouillon and 3 cups fo vegetable juice. Would this have made it sweet?

    • profile image

      hot2manytimes 6 years ago

      the potato does work to remove some of the spice,but not all I have used it mucho!!

    • profile image

      Ela Enakhifo 6 years ago

      I rarely consider too much pepper a problem, because I like my food reeeaally spicy. If you make something that is really hot by accident, just pour everybody nice big glasses of milk and say enjoy! :)

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      SilverGenes 7 years ago

      I swear by the potato for too much salt - just toss 'em in and scoop 'em out after. For spice, you're probably right with the last one. :)

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you Wbisbill! It seems to be a startlingly common mistake. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Wbisbill profile image

      Wbisbill 7 years ago from Tennessee USA

      Great advice and interesting hub. I tend to make my soups (especially chili) too hot. Thanks!