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)

FAQs

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

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.

What is 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.

What can I add to canned soup to make it better? ›

The good news is all of the most popular canned soups in America can be made to taste better with a few simple hacks. That starts with adding aromatics like garlic, ginger, or onions, to the mix, along with an extra helping of spices from basic salt and pepper to curry powders from different regions.

How to deepen the flavor of broth? ›

"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.

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.

How do I fix bland tasting 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. Our Lemony Chicken Soup will make your mouth water.

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 not to do when making soup? ›

The 7 Biggest Mistakes You Make Cooking Soup
  1. Boiling instead of simmering. You want a small bubble or two to rise to the surface of the liquid every few seconds. ...
  2. Not using enough salt. ...
  3. Ignoring water. ...
  4. Overcooking the vegetables. ...
  5. Adding tomatoes at the beginning. ...
  6. Neglecting to garnish. ...
  7. Not trying a pressure cooker.
Nov 19, 2014

How do you upgrade a can of soup? ›

How To Make Canned Soup Taste 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). ...
  3. More vegetables: This is a great place for leftover cooked veggies.
Apr 25, 2023

How do you enhance Campbell's soup? ›

Pesto, hot sauce, lemon juice—the list goes on. Any of these will enhance the flavor profile and give your can of Campbell's the boost it needs to go from good to great.

How to enhance soup flavor? ›

Go Bold. A punch of flavor at the end of cooking can make your soup a standout. Mix herbs like parsley, thyme, and oregano, or spices such as cumin, coriander, and cardamom, into some olive oil, and let it infuse for at least an hour or two. Pour it over soup just before serving.

What spices are good in soup? ›

To season it, we recommend starting with our Vegetable Soup Mix. It contains celery salt, parsley flakes, garlic powder, sea salt, summer savory, marjoram, thyme, black pepper, turmeric and sage, which are all excellent with root vegetables, so you can incorporate things like carrots or potatoes into the soup.

What gives vegetable soup that depth of flavor? ›

Dried herbs and seasonings: homemade seasoned salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and dried bay leaves lend flavor to the soup.

What should be added to enrich the flavor of the 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

How do you add depth of flavor to vegetable soup? ›

The first is to caramelize the vegetables, either in your soup pot or in the oven, to sweeten them and condense their juices. Next, add plenty of aromatics to the pot — herbs, spices, garlic, onions and the like — and let everything simmer for a long time to blend the flavors.

How do you make bland chicken soup taste better? ›

Add Umami: Add a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, mushroom powder, or a few dashes of fish sauce for an ultra-satisfying, umami-packed soup. Add More Veggies: Swirl in fresh spinach or kale at the end of cooking for more of a vegetable-heavy soup.

How do you cover up bitter taste in soup? ›

Too Bitter

The Fix: Balance bitter flavors by introducing something salty, sweet, or sour.

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