Substitutions possible for the dairy portion in a soup

Joined Jun 11, 2013
I just posted a recipe for tomato basil soup with Italian sausage in the recipes section here at ChefTalk.  My brother and I have been trying to figure out a recipe for this since we love the soup at a restaurant not far from where I live, but they won't disclose any details about other than it has dairy in it.  I went to the restaurant last night and believe we've not only come up with something very close, I think I may even like our version better.  It's really easy, it's been a great winter soup, and goes great with grilled cheese sandwich (but, then when doesn't grilled cheese go well with some kind of tomato soup, right?).

Now, my brother is really interested in coming up with a version of the soup that he could can to have on hand when he didn't feel like cooking.  (It's our understanding canning products with dairy in it is not a good idea . . . and even dangerous).  Any how, I thought there may be some wise and wicked cooks and chefs here that would have suggestions for replacing the milk and cream.  I know it will change the soup; however, I think a non-dairy alternative is possible.

I need to accomplish the following:

- Replace the liquid

- Thicken the base a bit

- Add the creamy flavor
Joined Jul 28, 2001
This is not from me/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

Replace the liquid............Reduce the stock or soup

Thicken the base a bit.....Reduce the stock or soup

Add a creamy flavor........Use non dairy creamer
Joined Jan 21, 2016
Instant mashed potatoes are a great substitute for the dairy.  Mix the instant mashed with water or chicken broth first to make a thick liquid and then add to the soup.   Mixing the potatoes first will prevent them from clumping up in the soup.

You can also puree some bread chunks in a little olive oil and add them to the soup.

You can also whisk in some olive oil.  

I have also read that coconut milk can also be used.  I have never tried that and it seems counter-intuitive to me.  But, hey....who knows?

Good luck!


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
First off, isn't it possible to freeze this soup as opposed to canning?  Unless you are using a pressure canner and really know what you are doing, this is not something that you can safely can.  Even without the dairy, you still have a meat product and that cannot be safely canned without a pressure canner.  Secondly, the dairy in the soup will  raise the ph level making it less acidic.  Most any other liquid addition will do the same.  Raising the ph level is also a concern and would take this into the realm of needed to be pressure canned, for safety.

Personally, I would make the soup, without the dairy, freeze it and add the dairy as I heated it up, or leave the dairy out altogether, but you would still need to freeze.
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