Best Spices and Seasonings for Soup (2024)

Soup warms you from the inside out on frigid days, and it is the king of all comfort food when you are sick. We've come to expect rich, soothing broth loaded with vegetables, meat, pasta, or rice, and it can be so disappointing when your bowl of steaming soup is underwhelming. If you take a few moments to master some different ways to season soup, you may never have to face that again. Whether you love chicken noodle soup or stick to the classic combination of tomato soup with grilled cheese, you're sure to discover spices here that will elevate an already-beloved comfort food.

Soup Seasoning

When considering soup seasonings, start withsalt. Salt is one of the world's best flavor enhancers, teasing out tremendous nuances and savory goodness when used correctly. Salting to taste is a phrase you will hear a lot in soup preparation, but that phrase is subjective. One person's bland is another's over-salted. Salt strategically during cooking--most notably when cooking down your soup's broth base, which is usually comprised of some basic aromatic vegetables, like onions and carrots. Salt these vegetables as they cook; the vegetables will concentrate and the salt will become a more predominant flavor. After cooking, you can add more salt if you like, and allow the people eating your soup to salt it to their own tastes.

Vegetable Soup Seasoning

What do you do once the cold weather arrives and you want to build a good vegetable soup from a solid, tasty base? Something that's rich, hot, filling, and uses the end-of-season veggies you've got in your fridge? Soup is the great refrigerator cleaner, and you can put just about any vegetables you have into a pot and call it a 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.To make the flavors pop in your vegetable soup, try a pinch of lemon zestto bring the flavors together.

If you make a black bean soup for dinner, use herbs like Mediterranean oregano or basil. Garnish black bean soup with a finishing salt like Smoky Citrus Salt. Put a finishing salt on after you've distributed the soup to bowls, since finishing salts give texture and visual appeal to the dish.

Sweet potato soup is a savory soup that responds well to sweet spices. Sprinkle the soup with allspice for some extra flavor. Ginger also compliments sweet potato soup well, so add a bit ofpowdered gingerfor soup that's sweet with a bit of heat.

And then there's tomato soup, the eternal cold-weather favorite. Do you want to shake up the recipe that you pulled from your mom's faded cookbook? We suggestMoroccan Vegetable Rub. This seasoning blend gives everyday tomato soup real dimension. It has a little sharpness from the paprika, chili powder, and cayenne, but it also lends a tiny bit of sweetness because of the cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Whole peppercorns freshly ground over soup before serving turns everyday tomato soup into a showstopper.

When you start making your own soup, you can't go wrong when you start with onion or garlic. Dehydrated vegetables are excellent in traditional vegetable soups as well. Some of our favorites are Dried Shallots, Dehydrated Red Bell Pepper, Dehydrated Green Bell Pepper,Tomato Flakes, Minced Onion and Roasted Garlic Flakes.

Or, add a bay leaf to your recipe. The bay leaf will give the soup a little something extra without overwhelming the dish. Bay leaves perform best when they're allowed to simmer in a dish and slowly release their flavor. Remove the bay leaf before serving; you don't want anyone to choke and whole bay leaves are a known choking hazard.

Spices to use in Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken soup is good for the soul, or so the zeitgeist says, and it's emotionally connected to warmth, happiness, and security. So what makes a good chicken soup, one that will taste delicious and impart those same feelings? Start with the bright, snappy flavor of Celery Seed, then add some aromatics, likeCalifornia Minced OnionandCalifornia Granulated Garlic. Salt and black pepperround out the basics; from there, try somePoultry Seasoning, or look at our Green Goddess Seasoning to keep it light, bright, and playful.

If you add potatoes or sweet potatoes to your chicken noodle soup, then we suggest that you complement them withcayenne pepper. This is also a great idea if you have a cold; need we say more about hot spices and stuffy noses? Smoked sweet paprika is also delicious in chicken soup. Should you want more of an herbal tasting chicken noodle soup, parsley and dill are perfect because they are both mellow but slightly sweet. These will give you a more pronounced, classic chicken soup flavor.

Broth Seasoning

Sometimes you just want some broth! This might be the case if you have a scratchy throat or an upset tummy.

Broth seasoning depends on what kind of broth you are starting with. A good chicken broth seasoning would be sea salt, which we have already talked about extensively. Herbs de Provence is a spice blend that will help you get a mellow, herbaceous flavor in your broth.

Beef broth is extremely flavorful as is, but you can certainly dress it up with some spices. Try adding cinnamon sticks, cloves, whole coriander and star anise, which recreate the flavor of pho. You could also use pepper to taste. Add these spices in whole or slightly cracked, and strain them out before serving for a flavorful, smooth broth.

Vegetable broth seasoning is very similar to vegetable soup seasoning. Celery seed powder will give a good neutral, grassy flavor to vegetable broth, which will keep it earthy. If you want a spice blend, there are things like Chinese Five Spice and Maharajah Curry that deliver lots of flavor with minimal effort. Spice blends eliminate the need to layer flavors on your own, which is lovely if you are in a rush.

The key to soup making involves testing out different flavors to determine what you like best. It's all a learning process. Enjoy the rest of your winter with these tips on spicing up your favorite soups.

Best Spices and Seasonings for Soup (2024)


Best Spices and Seasonings for Soup? ›

Spices like basil, cinnamon, cumin, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, smoked paprika and thyme are perfect. Each has a different strength and a different place, but all can be used for vegetable soups. Bay leaves can be added as well, but they must be removed before serving your soup.

What are good seasonings to put 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 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 can I add to my vegetable soup to give it more flavor? ›

How to Make the Best Vegetable Soup
  1. 1) Start with the veggies. ...
  2. 2) Add fresh minced garlic, curry powder, and dried thyme. ...
  3. 3) Add canned diced tomatoes with their juices. ...
  4. 4) Almost done—add some vegetable broth, water, and more flavorings. ...
  5. 5) Add chopped fresh greens and finally, some fresh lemon juice.

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

What gives soup more 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.

What gives vegetable soup that depth of flavor? ›

Tips for Flavorful Vegetable Soup

Flavor the base: We add Italian seasoning and tomato paste to the aromatics and warm them up to bring the seasonings back to life. You could use fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary, or even add a Parmesan rind for more flavor.

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 thickens homemade soup? ›

Add flour or cornflour

Put a tablespoon of either into a small bowl and stir in 2-3 tbsp of the soup until you have a smooth mixture. Stir this back into the soup and bring it to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes to allow the starch granules to burst to thicken, and to cook out any flour flavour.

How can I deepen my soup flavor? ›

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 is the number one soup in the world? ›

According to the Taste Atlas Awards, the international food database, the Filipino favorite, Sinigang, is hailed as the best soup in the world.

How do you make can soup taste good? ›

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 spices are good in soup? ›

Oregano works especially well with tomato-based soups, creating a light and fragrant undertone. Cayenne Pepper: Perfect for a little heat, cayenne pepper introduces a warm, spicy depth to your soup. Be sure to add a little, then taste as you go.

Can you add Worcestershire sauce to soup? ›

Adding Worcestershire Sauce To Soups

It will work in a broad range of dishes from your favorite French onion soup to velvety tomato bisque. It definitely does a great job of amping up the meaty flavors of a beef stew as well as giving vegetable soups a flavor lift, too.

How to intensify flavours? ›

Acidic ingredients help lift and balance flavor. Use small amounts of ingredients with bold flavors such as pomegranate seeds, chipotle pepper or cilantro. Give a flavor burst with condiments such as horseradish, flavored mustard, chutney, wasabi, bean purees, tapenade and salsas of all kinds.

What can you put in soup that tastes good? ›

You can extract a clean, strong broth from a combination of water and several pantry ingredients. It's all about layering powerful flavor-enhancers that you probably already have on hand—bacon, tomato paste, herbs, peppercorns, a Parmesan rind, and, of course, kosher salt.

How do you spice bland soup? ›

Also consider adding extra salt (possibly in the form of bullion) and pepper (any type -- crushed red, black, paprika). Add miso paste to boost the savory (umami) flavor. I have had success with "white" miso in carrot and lighter, brothy vegetable and pork soups; red miso in beef soups.

How do you spice down soup? ›

Add Acidic Foods

A squeeze of lemon or lime juice or a little vinegar can help cut through spiciness. Acidic foods tone down the spiciness in foods and can add some flavor, making this a good trick for seafood dishes or creamy soups and chowders.

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