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I Goofed .. Soup Too Spicy

Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 09:44 AM

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. m
    michelleats RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 09:48 AM

    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
      Canthespam RE: michelleats Jun 25, 2012 10:00 AM


      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. tcamp RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 10:00 AM

      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
        Canthespam RE: tcamp Jun 25, 2012 10:05 AM

        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. e
        emeats RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 10:13 AM

        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
          Canthespam RE: emeats Jun 25, 2012 12:01 PM

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

          1. re: Canthespam
            chefj RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 04:46 PM

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

            1. re: chefj
              todao RE: chefj Jun 25, 2012 08:04 PM

              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
                greygarious RE: chefj Jul 18, 2014 02:25 PM

                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
                  chefj RE: greygarious Jul 18, 2014 04:53 PM

                  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. s
            sedimental RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 05:02 PM

            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. Mild Bill RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 06:33 PM

              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
                michelleats RE: Mild Bill Jun 25, 2012 09:28 PM

                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
                  rudeboy RE: Mild Bill Mar 23, 2014 09:25 AM

                  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. l
                  LJS RE: Canthespam Jun 26, 2012 04:40 AM

                  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
                    Karl S RE: LJS Jun 26, 2012 10:24 AM

                    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. k
                    kseiverd RE: Canthespam Jun 26, 2012 05:55 AM

                    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
                      Canthespam RE: kseiverd Jun 26, 2012 10:07 AM

                      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
                        michelleats RE: Canthespam Jun 26, 2012 10:16 AM

                        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
                          Canthespam RE: michelleats Jun 26, 2012 10:46 AM

                          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
                            rudeboy RE: Canthespam Mar 23, 2014 09:28 AM

                            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
                              foiegras RE: Canthespam Jul 18, 2014 02:08 PM

                              Hmm, wonder if the barley did it ...

                          2. re: Canthespam
                            katecm RE: Canthespam Jun 26, 2012 10:17 AM

                            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. a
                          AJSSD RE: Canthespam Mar 22, 2014 10:47 PM

                          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. scubadoo97 RE: Canthespam Mar 23, 2014 04:14 PM

                            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. h
                              heatherlikescheese RE: Canthespam Jul 18, 2014 12:42 PM

                              Add Kale. Seriously.

                              1. p
                                pedalfaster RE: Canthespam Jul 18, 2014 12:47 PM

                                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
                                  C. Hamster RE: pedalfaster Jul 18, 2014 02:19 PM

                                  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. f
                                  foiegras RE: Canthespam Jul 18, 2014 02:06 PM

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

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