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I Goofed .. Soup Too Spicy

I made a BIG pot of chicken soup with a new recipe and it called for 1/8 teas. of red pepper flakes. After tasting it, I think that I put in 1/2 teaspoon. Is there any way to tame it? My husband who loves spicy foods say that now it tastes more like chili and is a bit too hot for him too.


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  1. Anything dairy will help: cream, yogurt, etc... You could also just dilute it and cook for longer with additional vegetables or chicken.

    Which recipe is it and how important is it to you to stay true to the recipe?

    1 Reply
    1. re: michelleats


      It's a slow cooker chicken soup recipe from America's Test Kitchen online. The veggies are sauteed and the chicken thighs are cooked whole and then shredded later. It is different from my regular chicken soup recipes and I think that it has a good flavor except for the chili flakes.

      Sauteeing (sp) the veggies and browning the whole thighs gives it added flavor, so it is richer than my regular stove top chicken soup.

      I had intended to freeze part of it.

    2. Seconding the dairy recommendation. My preference is mexican crema. A big dollop on top will cool things down. If I have steamed veggies laying around (green beans esp.), mixing those into the soup will cool it down too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tcamp

        Thanks - I have some yo-cheese that I made the other day and that does sound good. I didn't have any noodles and for dietary reasons (no will power) I don't keep pasta in the house.. so I substituted barley.

        I'll plop some yo-cheese on tonight and see how it tastes.

      2. I've also heard that cooking a potato in the broth will draw out the seasoning (whether it be salt, spice, etc. - maybe worth a try?

        5 Replies
        1. re: emeats

          I've heard the potato thing too, but never tried it.

          1. re: Canthespam

            It does not work. Dilution is the only way to make it milder.

            1. re: chefj

              Right on, chefj. The potato myth is an old wives tale. Of course, if you dilute it with enough potato that dilution will have some advantage. Dilution, preferably more of the same recipe without the pepper, is the only way to make it milder. Dairy products eaten with it may shield the mouth from some of the heat, but that's never a sure thing.

              1. re: chefj

                I've never tried it but have heard enough people claim that it works that if I were the OP, before I tried more significant doctoring, I WOULD give the potato thing a shot. Probably quarter a starchy variety potato and simmer a bit. Taste the spud. If it's very peppery, then it IS taking some of the pepper out of the soup, right? If it doesn't do anything, you can either toss it or chop it up and include in the soup to which you'd then add some fatty dairy component, and/or dilute with broth.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Lots People also say rub Butter on a Burn or hold it over the Heat. Try it if you want but it still doesn't work.

          2. Diluting is the only sure way to fix it. Canned chicken broth should work. If you have to remove some of the spicy broth in order to keep the ratio's the same, you could maybe freeze the removed broth, freeze and save for chili!

            1. I remember a time when a meat & vegetable dish was way too spicy and I turned on a dime and went 'Thai', by adding some curry and coconut milk... It blew our minds and became way better than what I first set out to do... I'm not saying do this, but I wanted to toss it out there...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mild Bill

                I like this approach. It would change the flavor profile significantly, but in canthespam's shoes, I'd probably dilute with chicken broth, additional sauteed vegetables, cream, tortilla chips and cilantro, and claim that it was supposed to be Mexican.

                1. re: Mild Bill

                  I agree with mild Bill. Turn it into something else. If it tastes more like chili, then maybe it is a chili!! Going thai is one route, and addint the peanut butter would be another. I yahoo'ed "chicken peanut soup" and there's a bunch of them out there. There's a basic one on allrecipes.com that uses half a cup of peanut butter, but then there's a lot of various african versions. Do it! I think that trying to dilute the spice will only dilute the rest of the flavor that you worked so hard for.

                2. If ytou don't mind changing the 'character' of the soup a bit, add 1/2 cup of peanut butter-creamy or chunky and re-heat thoroughly.

                  The peanut-chicken-heat thing works well together, taste-wise. The soup will be extended thus diminishing the heat, through both diluting and 'sweetening'.

                  My family is so enamoured of the combo, I have been known to take a can of You-Know-Who's Cream of Chicken and simply add PB and a bit of curry and those same pepper flakes that did you in...it's a great Sunday supper with Naan bread and any Asian-style salad.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LJS

                    Correct. If dilution is not feasible, nut butters are the best tool to emulsify capsaicin; thick dairy is a distant second best. I wonder about a liaison of egg yolk off heat, though (no reheating)

                  2. Maybe strain out everything from broth, return to pot with HALF of original broth, and top off with plain chicken stock?!? Then freeze other half of stock for something later on?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: kseiverd

                      The Soup Fairies performed their magic over night. The soup was too hot to eat when I made it Sunday night, and while I was pondering which of the above tips to use ... I decided to heat it up and try some for dinner on Monday night ....

                      I don't know what happened, but the soup seasoning was perfect, all of the hotness had disappeared. But ... I ended up with some good future info.


                      1. re: Canthespam

                        Fascinating. We could have a whole 'nother interesting thread on how this could've happened. Could the vegetables in the soup have released additional moisture into the soup, diluting it? Do dried chili peppers mellow out over the course of a few days, after they've been cooked?

                        I'm glad it worked out in any event! Sounds like a delicious soup.

                        1. re: michelleats

                          Yes, the soup was delicious. Sauteing the veggies and browning the whole thighs and then shredding them after they were cooked, made for a richer taste. I usually prefer thicker soups, this a good recipe. The only change I made was I added 1/4 cup of barley as I didn't have any noodles.



                          1. re: Canthespam

                            Oh, I really need to look at dates and read the entire thread before I reply. I'm so glad that worked out for you. I have noticed hundred of times that chili pepper spice will mellow out after a day. Maybe it is the chilling and reheating that does something to the capsicum. I don't have a scientific explanation.

                            1. re: Canthespam

                              Hmm, wonder if the barley did it ...

                          2. re: Canthespam

                            Well now it's too late to help, but I suppose for future reference I'd have recommended stirring it in with some plain unseasoned cooked rice and then bake with a breadcrumb topping as an easy casserole. I'd think the rice would help even out some of the heat.

                        2. Start with a spoon of sugar and a spoon of nut butter (peanut or almond). If that doesn't do the trick, keep adding a spoon of each until the spiciness is tamed to your liking. It works like a charm and it doesn't change the flavor of your dish.

                          1. You will alter the too too much with additions unless it's way too hot

                            I made tortilla soup a couple of nights ago and between the couple of jalapeƱos de seeded and ribs removed, and a little ancho and guajillo powder the soup was hotter than anticipated. As we ate we got acclimated and by the end it wasn't that hot. I guess the taste buds were fried:)

                              1. To late for the OP, but when I add too much ~anything~ to a soup or stew I chop a potato into quarters and toss it into the mix for an hour or two. Remove the potato, reheat and taste again.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: pedalfaster

                                  Potatoes are a myth, sorry . They don't selectively absorb the offending character (salt, spice, acid). They just absorb some of the liquid -- something that is more easily accomplished by just ladling it out.

                                  It's been scientifically disproven, actually.

                                2. Sugar helps ... what about adding a potato? When I find I've made something too spicy, brown sugar mellows it back out.