21 Tasty Topping Ideas to Take Your Soup from Ordinary to Otherworldly
Think of what the cherry does for a sundae-it adds a bit of flavor and a dash of good looks. Before you dip your spoon into your bowl of soup, sprinkle, drizzle, swirl or squeeze a little extra beauty on top. Here are four creative soup-topper ideas, but these are just a jumping-off point-anything goes!
Pictured Recipe: Garden-Fresh Asparagus Soup
1. More Veggies
We always love an excuse to add more vegetables to a meal. Use veggies as a garnish on pureed soups to reveal what vegetables are actually in the soup. If you're roasting the veggies, reserve a little for the garnish before pureeing. If you're using raw vegetables, make sure to thinly slice them.
- Thinly sliced radish or cucumber
- Julienned carrot, cabbage or jicama
- Chopped tomato
- Asparagus tips
- Corn or peas
Related: Our Best Veggie-Packed Soup Recipes
Pictured Recipe: Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
2. Swirls and Dollops
A spoonful of yogurt, dash of Sriracha or squeeze of lemon can elevate your soup from flat to amazing. Start with a little bit and add more as desired depending on your topping.
- Plain yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche
- Pesto, salsa, gremolata or caponata
- Aioli or tzatziki
- Extra-virgin oilve oil, sesame oil, nut oils or any flavored oils, such as truffle
- Hot sauce, such as Texas Pete or Sriracha
- Asian condiments, such as hoisin sauce, fish sauce or soy sauce
- Vinegar, such as sherry or red-wine
- Lemon or lime juice
Pictured Recipe: Cauliflower Soup with Smoked Gouda
Sometimes your soup needs a bit more texture. Add crispy bits right before serving so they keep their crunch.
- Croutons or toasted fresh breadcrumbs
- Toasted nuts, such as almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts
- Crumbled tortilla chips or crackers
- Toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Toasted coconut
Pictured Recipe: Tomato Soup
For the most basic garnish, try a touch of green herb or a flick of spice. These garnishes impart a little extra flavor and make your soup look restaurant-worthy.
- Chopped herbs, such as chives, cilantro, dill or parsley
- Dusting of spice, such as cumin, paprika or white pepper
- Lemon, lime or orange zest
- Shaved, crumbled or grated cheese, such as feta, Parmesan or Pecorino
Don't feel you have to limit yourself to one topping. Try sprinkling, drizzling, dolloping or crunching a few for an explosion of flavor. Happy souping!
EatingWell Soups Special Issue January 2016