6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful (2024)

Soup broth, whether it's right out of a box or spooned from a pot of simmering chicken bones and veggie peels, can be pretty boring on its own. It's light in texture and mouthfeel, and it doesn't typically have much flavor. Yes, it's a step up from water, but broth can be so much more than the weak, watered-down version you typically pour from a cardboard box. Luckily, you can find ways to spruce it up, whether by adding different spices, herbs, and seasonings, or simmering with veggies and proteins.

Plus, stock is a pantry staple you should have at home for meals. A great broth can pair with various cuisines and dishes, as it's a simple and foundational element of many dishes, from ramen to pan sauces. It can also thin down a too-thick sauce or help pasta soak up marinara.

But before you pour whatever stock you happen to have on hand into your favorite creamy soup, you want to make sure it's flavorful enough to be worthy of your final dish. So whether that soup broth is homemade or it's store-bought, a few finishing touches can take that basic broth up a notch or two in terms of taste, heartiness, and even nutrition.

6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful (1)

How to Make Broth More Flavorful

Here are a few simple ways to upgrade soup broth for a tasty, filling, and flavorful finish.

1. Add herbs and spices.

Herbs and spices add aroma, flavor, and intensity to soup broth. "Use fresh or dried basil in tomato-based recipes or fresh parsley to add freshness to clear broth soups," says Sofia Norton, RD. You can also go with more heat and spices. "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.

2. Add acidic ingredients.

Foods that have a great deal of acidity, like lemon juice, vinegar, white wine, and tomato puree, can help liven up the flavor of bland-tasting bone and other broths. "The acidity of these ingredients works to complement and enhance the broth's flavors, not mask it. But, make sure to use these ingredients sparingly as you don't want an overpoweringly acidic taste," says Norton. Lemon works well with chicken broth; vinegar is great with beef broths; and white wine is awesome with broths when you are making a sauce.

3. Pack in umami flavor.

"If your broth is lacking in savory richness, try adding roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso. These ingredients add umami flavor and depth to broth," she says. The choice of ingredient depends on the recipe, though. For instance, tomato goes best with beef broth, vegetable broth, and minestrone-type soups, while seaweed, mushrooms, soy sauce, and miso pair perfectly in chicken and fish broths. Onions work well in just about any broth, though!

4. Roast the ingredients first.

"If making homemade broth, it's a good idea to roast meat, bones, and vegetables before adding them to your pot of water. The browning of these ingredients gives depth, savoriness, and color to broths," Norton says. Plus, it's easy to roast all the soup broth components at once. "Do this by arranging all ingredients on a baking sheet or in a Dutch oven and roasting until golden brown," she says. Then scrape and use the brown bits before cooking your broth.

5. Let it evaporate and cook longer.

If you find that your homemade or store-bought broth is thin and bland, you can concentrate its flavors by cooking it a little bit longer." Make sure to remove the lid or tilt it slightly to let the steam escape. Reducing your broth to two-thirds of its original volume should result in two times the flavor," she says.

6. Skim excess fat.

Fat usually makes everything taste better, but too much fat in broth just makes it taste greasy and bland. "If you see a thick layer of fat floating on the surface of your broth, skim it with a spoon. You can also remove fat solids from refrigerated broths," she says. And rule of thumb? When it comes to broths, you really only need a small amount of fat to get a huge amount of flavor.

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6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful (2024)

FAQs

6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful? ›

Making a delicious soup depends on building flavors as you go along. Aromatics, which include garlic, onion, leeks, carrots and celery, are the basic flavor-building blocks of most soup recipes. Sauteing these vegetables in oil or butter is the first step to boosting your soup's flavor.

How to make soup broth more flavorful? ›

11 Ways to Fancy Up a Box of Store-Bought Broth
  1. Add spices. Whole spices are a fast and easy way to doctor up homemade broth. ...
  2. Add aromatics. ...
  3. Simmer with fresh herbs. ...
  4. Throw in a cheese rind. ...
  5. Simmer with fruit peels. ...
  6. Add a sprinkle of smoked salt. ...
  7. Add a sauce. ...
  8. Stir in miso paste.

What is the key to flavorful soup? ›

Making a delicious soup depends on building flavors as you go along. Aromatics, which include garlic, onion, leeks, carrots and celery, are the basic flavor-building blocks of most soup recipes. Sauteing these vegetables in oil or butter is the first step to boosting your soup's flavor.

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.

How to make bone broth more flavorful? ›

A little salt and pepper can go such a long way towards creating a delicious, flavorful broth. Other popular seasonings include herbs like bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, parsley, savory, sage, and basil. Turmeric, cayenne pepper, and ginger can also be added for extra flavor and possibly even some nutritional benefits.

How do you make can soup taste better? ›

Here are some ideas to liven up your canned soups and make them taste more like homemade:
  1. Sauté some onions and/or garlic: Low and slow is the way to go. ...
  2. Add protein: Leftover chicken or steak, some cooked diced ham or bacon or sausage (just a little — that soup is already salty).
Apr 25, 2023

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.

How do you Flavour watery soup? ›

Add more to taste if not thick enough. As Alice Twain says, don't keep adding water. Or, you can make soups using a stock instead of water: vegetable, chicken or a meat or fish stock. Stocks will add more flavour, but choose one that goes well with the basic soup.

How to add extra flavor to chicken soup? ›

Add some chopped cooked chicken, loads of chopped parsley, simmer a bit more and season. Add some veggies like onions, celery, and carrots to give it a heartier flavor. And don't forget herbs like thyme and bay leaves for an extra kick!

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.

How do you deepen Flavour? ›

Seasoning Tips for Improving Flavor
  1. Drop (salt for) acid. ...
  2. Use coarse salt when seasoning meat. ...
  3. Pep up—or tone down—your pepper. ...
  4. Season cold foods aggressively. ...
  5. Incorporate fresh herbs at the right time. ...
  6. Add a little umami. ...
  7. Make adjustments when seasonings go awry. ...
  8. Add a finishing touch.

What is the most important ingredient in soup? ›

Great broth — Most soups are anchored by a stock or broth, and one with depth of flavor (not just a lot of salt) is key. Buy a quality one, or simmer up a batch of your own. Try an easy chicken or mushroom broth, or our versatile Homemade Vegetable Broth opens in a new tab.

How do you make homemade broth more flavorful? ›

To the pot, add cut-up vegetables, such as celery (with leaves), carrots, and unpeeled onion, as well as seasonings, such as salt, dried thyme, peppercorns, fresh parsley, bay leaves, and unpeeled garlic clove halves. All of these add flavor to the broth.

What to add to soup for flavor? ›

"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.

Why does my soup taste bland? ›

Let the Broth Evaporate and Cook Longer

If your broth tastes thin and bland, you may want to cook and let it evaporate for longer. That helps concentrate its flavors and gives you a better-tasting soup broth.

How do you fix bland soup broth? ›

How to Make Broth More Flavorful
  1. Add herbs and spices. Herbs and spices add aroma, flavor, and intensity to soup broth. ...
  2. Pack in umami flavor. "If your broth is lacking in savory richness, try adding roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso. ...
  3. Let it evaporate and cook longer.
Jun 28, 2023

Why does my broth have no flavor? ›

Letting the broth simmer below boiling with new vegetables for an hour or two can boost the flavor. Taste after an hour and determine if you have made progress. Adding herbs, salt, and pepper can also help. I would recommend waiting to salt your broth until the broth is completely cooked and almost ready to store.

Which adds more flavor stock or broth? ›

Stock has a richer, deeper flavor and mouthfeel, making it better at adding body to a dish, whereas broth might be a better choice when you want to let other flavors to shine.

How do you add taste to chicken broth? ›

Herbs and spices: Bay leaves, dried rosemary, dried thyme and peppercorns add subtle flavor to the broth. Before you choose a peppercorn blend, keep in mind that pink peppercorns aren't actually peppercorns.

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