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

Updated on January 9, 2020
thooghun profile image

A recovering perfectionist and avid cook, James has discovered many creative and tasty ways to perfect every dish.

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! Most kitchens have all the materials needed to douse the fiery inferno you've created, without butchering the taste.

What Can I Use to Make My Soup Less Spicy?

  • Potatoes
  • Sugar
  • Yogurt
  • Coconut milk
  • Sour cream

1. Potato

Think of it as 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 for around 20 minutes, with the flame on low. The potato will soak up excess salt and spice, dimming the heat noticeably.

Does potato really make spice less spicy?

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 stars (out of 5)

I gave this a couple of stars 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. Sugar

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.

Does sugar really make things less spicy?

Sweetening a soup with a fistful of sugar will remove the bite...but adding too much sugar will butcher the taste (unless you're a sugar addict, in which case: bon voyage).

Solution rating: 2 stars (out of 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 steer clear.

3. Sour Cream, Yogurt, or Coconut Milk

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 works 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 potentially embarrass lactose intolerant diners.

Solution rating: 3 stars (out of 5); 1 star if it excludes some of your guests.

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 (out of 5) If you can afford it; 0 stars 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, this is unlikely). I hope you enjoyed this article; 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!


Submit a Comment
  • toolongdidntread profile image


    8 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


    8 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


    8 years ago

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

  • profile image

    Ela Enakhifo 

    8 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! :)

  • profile image


    10 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 imageAUTHOR

    James Nelmondo 

    10 years ago from Rome, Italy

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

  • Wbisbill profile image


    10 years ago from Tennessee USA

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


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)