This cream is called heavy because it is the higher-fat layer skimmed from the top of unpasteurized raw cow milk before homogenization. Industrially, the skimming is accelerated by using centrifuges called separators. Also called heavy whipping cream, heavy cream is formulated to resist breaking when heated (for culinary purposes). It has a higher percentage of milk fat than other cream versions, about 36% to 40%, while light cream ranges below 35%.
Heavy cream should not be mistaken for whipping cream (yes, it can be called heavy whipping cream, but not whipping cream, don’t be confused, here is why ). Whipping cream is a lighter second in the spectrum of creams from a dairy product with about 30% milkfat level. When it comes to adding richness and thickness to saucy dishes and soups, not other ingredient beats good ol’ heavy cream. Heavy cream has been adding thickness to soups since the 16th century. It was included in recipes that date back to 1549 in Italy and 1604 in France. It used to be called “milk snow.”
Heavy cream is mostly fat (being a derivative of cow milk with a higher milk fat percentage). It is high in calories. However, it is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins, choline, and other minerals. The fat in heavy cream is primarily saturated fat, which was thought to cause heart diseases. But recent studies have shown that there is no correlation or fact in this assumption. Rather, scientists found out that eating saturated fat may help protect against heart disease. Choline in heavy fat helps early brain development and metabolism, while vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes and immune function.
Other vitamins contained in heavy cream include vitamins D, K, and E. Also, it contains calcium and phosphorus. These two minerals are vital for healthy bones. One-half cup of heavy cream (119 grams) contains: 400 calories, 3 grams protein, 43 grams fat, 3 grams carbs, 35% vitamin A, 10% vitamin D, 7% vitamin E, 3% vitamin K, 7% calcium, 4% choline, and 7% phosphorus.
Heavy Cream in Soup Nutrition Facts:
Heavy cream is a staple ingredient in many Italian, American, French, and Indian cuisines and a favorite in the global kitchen. Heavy cream creates a velvety, creamy consistency in recipes. Heavy cream’s thickness and richness, plus the fact that it won’t curdle when heated, makes it the best choice as a soup thickener.
Aside from being used as a base for a vast variety of soups, below are other culinary uses of heavy cream:
- Caramel Sauce
- Frosting and Cake
- Salad Dressing
- Panna Cotta
- Chocolate Ganache
- Whip Cream
- Creamy Chicken Marsala
- Lemony Asparagus Pasta
- Tarragon Cream Sauce
To mention but a few.
Substitute for Heavy Cream in Soup
As stated above, the slickly texture and thickness of heavy cream makes it a perfect thicker for soups of various kinds. This heavy cream is also rich in flavor and gently accentuates the taste of any soup, savory, sour, or sweet.
However, the number of calories and the fact that heavy cream is a dairy product may hinder some people from using it thicker. If you are vegan or dairy intolerant, relax, I will list some of the best substitutes for heavy cream in the soup.
This article will also help when you run out of heavy cream and can’t rush to the grocery store. Most of these ingredients are common kitchen favorites.
Since we have learned that heavy cream is made from milk, it makes better sense that milk and butter can perfectly take the place of heavy cream. The butter adds the extra fat and thickness to the milk such that the mixture is hardly differentiated from heavy cream itself.
Combine ¼ cup (57 grams) of melted butter with ¾ cup (178ml) of milk and stir consistently to make 1 cup of substitute heavy cream. If you’re using low-fat milk, add 1 tbsp (8 grams) of flour to thicken the liquid.
This substitute does not yield to whipping because, during butter, membranes of fat globules that act as emulsifiers are destroyed when churning. However, the cooking process will do the magic, making your soup thick with the consistency of heavy cream.
This ingredient comes pre-made but is very easy to make at home using coconut milk. The simple process entails chilling a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fried overnight, then filtering off the liquid content.
Coconut cream is vegan friendly and can be whipped just like heavy cream. It has the exact slickly and thick texture of heavy cream. This substitute adds more flavors to your dish and gives an extra taste. Substitute an equal amount of heavy cream with coconut cream in your recipe and enjoy a dairy-free alternative.
Half-and-half is simply half whole milk and half cream. Besides butter, this product produces a mixture that tastes, looks, and feels like heavy cream. If you are looking for a substitute for heavy cream with less fat but equally quality, stop searching. Half-and-half has a 10-18% (a far, far, mark from heavy cream’s 36-40%).
Mix 1 or 2 tbsp of melted butter with ½ cup of half-and-half. This substitute can be cooked and whipped.
Greek yogurt (also called strained yogurt) is made from a process that eliminates excess water, lactose, and mineral so that what is left is a rich yogurt with less sugar, more carbs, and a tart taste. A mixture of this yogurt and whole milk produces a perfect thickener for soups like heavy cream. The milk softens the Greek yogurt to a heavy-cream-like consistency.
This substitute is high in protein with fewer calories than heavy cream. Blend equal parts of Greek yogurt and whole milk and use the same amount of heavy cream.
Made from cow’s milk curds, cottage cheese is a high protein, low calories substitute for heavy cheese with a mild flavor. Also, it contains many other essential nutrients that are lacking in heavy cream. Cottage cheese is soft, white, and creamy. Blend properly to remove the lumps before proceeding to cook. Use an equal amount of heavy cream required.
In soups and sauces, this substitute alone is sufficient. However, for other recipes, you may want to mix with whole milk to make it creamier.
Silken tofu is made from condensed soy milk and solidified to form white blocks. Unlike regular tofu, silken tofu has a softer texture and can easily be blended into a substitute for heavy cream dairy-free and high in protein.
Blend with soy milk to create a similar consistency to heavy cream. Blend thoroughly till lumps are removed. Use the mixture in equal amounts as you would heavy cream. Soy milk can be replaced with whole milk or any plant-based milk for an equal result.
Substitute for Heavy Cream in Mushroom Soup
Mushroom soup is a delicious soup that gives a burst of flavors when tasted. Chewing chunks of mushrooms occasionally is an aesthetic feeling. Flavored with garlic, onions, and herbs, you will need a base that does less to interfere with the taste here. In this case, buttermilk is a balanced substitute.
Substitute for Heavy Cream in Tomato Soup
Tomato soup is a very velvety and creamy soup in which cream can never be said to be too much. In this recipe, Half-and-half and butter can easily substitute for heavy cream because butter itself is an integral ingredient for the soup.
Substitute for Heavy Cream in Creamy Cauliflower Soup
This soup comes with all the goodies of a good soup and more: it is naturally gluten-free and can be vegan (if you cook without the cheese/butter). In this case, a perfect substitute for heavy cream will be coconut cream. It will push up the flavors of your soup while maintaining its vegan integrity.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
Can you freeze heavy cream?
Yes. Heavy cream can be frozen for up to 2 months. Make sure you leave room for the heavy cream to expand once frozen. However, it may not whip nicely as fresh heavy cream would.
How can you tell if heavy cream is bad?
Once the heavy cream starts to cuddle (lumps begin to form in the liquid) and smell mildly sour, it has gone bad.
Can I use condensed milk instead of heavy cream?
No. as explained above, condensed milk will not give the velvety consistency like heavy cream would – not alone. Your soup will be watery and too light. If you mix it with butter as directed above, only then can the substitution work.
This article contains perfect substitutes for the beloved heavy cream if you’re on a diet or dairy intolerant. You can now enjoy your rich, velvety, slickly soup with healthier and tastier substitutes for heavy cream in the soup.