7 Easy Ways to Make Any Pot of Soup Better (2024)

Soup is soul food, satisfying and warming on a cold day or night. Sometimes, though, you make a pot of soup that's good and fine, but maybe you wish it were a little bit... better. Maybe you want to take this soup to the next level and give it something extra to improve the taste, texture, or complexity of flavor.

Here are a few tips to take you beyond the recipe and make all your soups sing.

7 Easy Ways to Make Any Pot of Soup Better (1)

1. Brown or Sear the Meat

If you are adding meat to a soup, sear or brown it in a sauté pan before you add it to the soup. This adds a deeper savory flavor to the whole soup. This trick is especially useful for things like chicken and sausage, which can sometimes get bland and rubbery while floating in a brothy soup.

2. Roast the the Veggies

Similar to searing meat, try roasting your vegetables before adding them to the soup. This gives them a little bit of char and concentrates their flavor, giving the soup a more complex taste.

Try making an easy roasted root vegetable soup with squash, potatoes, carrots, and any other vegetables you like. Roast them for half the amount of time you normally would then mix them into a warm pot of broth. Add some beans or leftover meat from another meal to round it out.

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3. Mix up the Texture

Mash or puree some vegetables in your soup to give it a creamy texture while still having some chunky bits, or puree the whole thing for a silky-smooth experience. If your ingredients won't puree easily (like a beef stew), then try pureeing some white beans and mixing them in.

4. Use Homemade Stock Whenever Possible

It’s possible to develop flavors as you go with just water and whatever ingredients you are using, but if you have it handy, use homemade stock. This gives you a jump on the flavor-building process.

5. Put Your Cheese Rinds to Work

When you’re down to the last nub of that block of Parmesan, Pecorino, or other hard cheese, freeze it and toss a rind or two in the pot next time you’re making soup. They will soften and add extra nutty flavor to the recipe. Remove from the soup before serving.

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6. Perk up a Bland Soup With Simple Pantry Staples

Got a soup that tastes a little bland and unexciting? Add a splash of vinegar (any kind!), or a squeeze of citrus. Chances are, you could use a little more salt. Go ahead—it’s ok. Salt perks up flat flavors and helps balance out bitter-tasting ingredients. Some freshly cracked pepper helps, too!

7. Add Fresh Herbs or Dairy When Serving

Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and cilantro lose their flavor quickly if simmered in a hot soup, but they add freshness and bright flavor when sprinkled over top just before serving.

A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt can add a bit of tang to cool off a spicy soup or balance the sweetness in soups made with a lot of root vegetables.

Recipes Pictured

7 Easy Ways to Make Any Pot of Soup Better (2024)


What can I put in my soup to make it taste better? ›

Perk up a Bland Soup With Simple Pantry Staples

Add a splash of vinegar (any kind!), or a squeeze of citrus. Chances are, you could use a little more salt. Go ahead—it's ok. Salt perks up flat flavors and helps balance out bitter-tasting ingredients.

What's the secret to a good soup? ›

All soups and stews must have three major components in order to be tasty: an undercurrent liquid, aromatics, and volumizing ingredients. In every case, they're layered together until all of the flavors meld together in a harmonious, silky balance.

How to make can soup better? ›

Go green: Add some spinach or chopped kale or pesto. Get zesty: A squirt of lemon juice or zest could brighten up an otherwise flat soup. Starchy things: Homemade croutons, crushed tortilla chips, or oyster crackers. Clean out the fridge: got cooked beans or rice, a dollop of sour cream, or a splash of heavy cream?

What seasoning to add to bland soup? ›

"Ground paprika, turmeric, nutmeg, ground ginger, and other powdered spices add a touch of color and spiciness to broths," she says. As a general rule, use fresh herbs at or near the end of cooking and dried herbs and spices early on. This helps you get the flavors you're looking for in the right balance.

What should be added to enrich the flavor of the soup? ›

Herbs and sources add flavor, aroma, and intensity to the soup broth. You can pick fresh or dried herbs like basil for tomato-based soups or fresh parsley for clear broths. You may also add more spices like turmeric, ground ginger, ground paprika, or nutmeg for a touch of spice and color to your soup broth.

What not to put in soup? ›

The Worst Things to Put in Your Soup
  1. By Sara Butler. If there's one good thing about fall and winter, it's soup. ...
  2. Heavy Cream. Heavy cream creates an inviting texture for soups but that's where its positive contributions end. ...
  3. Juice. ...
  4. Turkey Bacon. ...
  5. Cheese. ...
  6. Croutons.

What is the most important ingredient in soup? ›

For clear, brothy soups, stock is your most important ingredient. If you want to make a good soup, you need to use an excellently flavored stock — otherwise, the entire pot could be tasteless.

What is the secret ingredient in soup? ›

It may sound a bit strange and unusual for some, but vinegar is a common ingredient in some soup recipes, and there is a good reason for it. If you think about it, vinegar is really a flavor-enhancer (umami). That's why it is so often used in cooking, sauces, and salad dressings. The same is true with soups.

What are 6 qualities of a good soup? ›

A good soup should be full-flavored, with no off or sour tastes. Flavors from each of the soup's ingre- dients should blend and complement, with no one flavor overpowering another. Con- sommés should be crystal clear. The vegetables in vegetable soups should be brightly colored, not gray.

What ingredient can be added to a soup to make it thicker and richer? ›

Add Flour Or Cornstarch

You can thicken soup by adding flour, cornstarch, or another starchy substitute. For the best results, never add flour or cornstarch directly to your soup. If you do, it will clump up on top. Instead, ladle a small amount of broth into a separate bowl and let it cool.

Which soup is healthiest? ›

Broth-Based Soups With Veggies and Protein

When it comes to the healthiest soups you can eat, these are the gold standard, says registered dietitian Jessica Cording. Think chicken and vegetable, turkey and black bean chili, or lentil.

How can I improve my supermarket soup? ›

Here are 10 ideas:
  1. Add Fresh Herbs. Take a page from My New Roots author Sarah Britton and turn to herbs whenever you need a simple way to perk up a pot of soup. ...
  2. Add Greens. ...
  3. Add Toasted Nuts. ...
  4. Add Croutons. ...
  5. Add Poached Eggs. ...
  6. Or Something Fishy. ...
  7. Drizzle With Flavored Oil. ...
  8. Or Flavored Cream.
Nov 9, 2016

What gives soup the best flavor? ›

Vinegar – A spoonful of vinegar is a quick fix when you find yourself with a bowl of dull, flat-tasting soup. Just a small amount of acid will brighten up the flavors. 2. Soy Sauce – Soy sauce is another item that's ideal for brightening up and adding depth of flavor to an otherwise dull soup.

How to fix tasteless soup? ›

If a soup is tasting bland in the bowl, consider adding acid rather than salt. A squeeze of lemon or lime, or a dash of yogurt or sour cream can add brightness to the bowl.

What is the best herb to put in soup? ›

A mix of Italian parsley, chives, and dill, with the option of lemon thyme, is a much used combination in chunky meat and vegetable soups or simply vegetable soups. Italian parsley is a better option than moss curled parsley because it stands up better to long cooking.

How do you deepen soup Flavour? ›

How do you make soup more flavorful? Depending on what kind of soup you have, there are lots of things that add flavor. Black pepper can give an “after burn" to any recipe. Worcestershire sauce, Maggi sauce, tomato paste, fresh herbs, mustard, vinegar, bouquet garni, garlic, hot sauce, soy sauce.

What other ingredients can be added to give taste to the soup? ›

The best part, most are already in your fridge or pantry.
  1. Lemon Juice. Acidity in a soup can really make a difference because it adds a high back-note. ...
  2. Wine. Wine is the perfect liquid to unstick the brown stuff from the bottom of your pan. ...
  3. Fish Sauce. ...
  4. Worcestershire Sauce. ...
  5. Sesame Oil. ...
  6. Yogurt. ...
  7. Pesto. ...
  8. Beer.
Feb 16, 2024

What gives vegetable soup that depth of flavor? ›

Italian Seasoning: a classic mixture of oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, basil, and sage goes well with almost any fresh vegetables. Bay Leaf: you should only need one for this big batch of soup, a little goes a long way with bay leaves, giving your soup a great depth of flavor.

How do you even out bitterness in soup? ›

Add sweet vegetables like carrots and beets. They will sweeten the broth and deepen its color. You might also add a bit of miso (or salt) and/or a squeeze of lemon juice. Sweet, salt and acid balance bitter flavors.

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