As a kid, tomato soup was a staple in my home. My mom always made it just a little more special by adding crackers smeared with butter. It was such a treat to see them floating delicately on top of a hot bowl of soup. It’s one of my first, and fondest food memories. Now I look for little ways to elevate my soup for my family and friends.
Believe me when I say there’s no need to be Martha to serve a picture-perfect bowl. These add- ins or as I like to call them, accessories, are easy and can transform a simple bowl of soup into something special in just minutes.
- For the kids– Offer fun add-ins like Goldfish, or grilled cheese fingers.
- Freshen up- Use fresh herbs like a sprig of Thyme, Oregano, Cilantro, Parsley or Rosemary, or pick the leaves off and sprinkle on top.
- Bruschetta for the win– Keep a baguette in the freezer for a fast add on to your soup. Simple toast slices and top with melted cheese, or a scoop of fresh ricotta sprinkled with salt and fresh ground black pepper for a hearty addition to any bowl.
- Drizzle It, Just a little bit– Drizzles of flavored oils like truffle oil, or even just a really good quality extra virgin olive oil make lovely layers of flavor in soup.
- Spice it up– Hot sauce, chili oil, chili flakes and sprinkles of cayenne are all good picks for kicking your soup up a notch on the heat index.
- Cheese please- Freshly grated hard cheese like Parmesan and Pecorino are great to top off a bowl of soup. You can also add some tuiles or crackers of the same cheesy flavor profiles for a nice crunch.
- Get nutty- Toasted nuts like chopped almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts are great for adding texture and flavor. Seeds are great add- ins too, like spiced pumpkin seeds.
- A dollop will do– A tablespoon of sour cream, Greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, or mascarpone make for pretty floats on a bowl of soup and create creamy texture when stirred in.
- Toast with toppings– I mentioned Bruschetta above, but you can also simply toast your favorite bread and smear with a variety of toppings for a complementary garnish. I recommend thinner slices and cutting into smaller pieces for easier handling. Pita toast points with hummus, whole grain toast triangles with goat cheese, or Texas toast with a sprinkle of salt, are just a few great toast options.
- Citrus –Citrus zest adds a great pop of color and flavor. Finely zested – lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit can all be used on top of soups or to sprinkle on top of the dollops, drizzles and toast points above for added flavor and color.