Vegetable soup is a classic dish that has been around for centuries and is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a versatile meal that can be adapted to fit any dietary needs and preferences.
Doctoring up vegetable soup can be done in a variety of ways; adding a variety of herbs and spices can bring extra flavor to the soup. To add some extra richness, cream or coconut milk can be stirred in, while diced or shredded cooked chicken or other proteins can add extra protein. Topping the soup with crunchy croutons or fried onions can add a contrasting texture to the soup.
This article will provide tips from a professional chef on how to doctor up vegetable soup and create a delicious, nutritious meal.
Adding Flavor with Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor to vegetable soup without adding extra calories or fat.
Popular herbs include parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaves, dill weed, tarragon, and chives. Popular spices include cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, curry powder, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and ginger.
Experimenting with different combinations of herbs and spices will help you find the perfect flavor for your soup.
Adding Texture with Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds can be added to vegetable soup to give it a crunchy texture and an extra boost of nutrition.
Popular choices include almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds. These can be added directly to the soup or used as toppings for added texture and flavor.
Adding Protein with Beans Lentils & Tofu
Beans such as kidney beans or black beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein that can easily be incorporated into vegetable soup recipes. Lentils are also high in protein and fiber while providing a hearty texture to the dish.
For those looking for a vegan option tofu is also an excellent choice as it provides protein while being low in fat and calories.
Making the Soup Creamy with Dairy or Non-Dairy Alternatives
Adding dairy products such as cream or yogurt will make your vegetable soup creamy while adding richness in flavor and texture.
For those who prefer non-dairy alternatives such as coconut milk or almond milk are great alternatives that will still give your soup the same creamy consistency without the added fat or calories from dairy products.
Adding Color & Crunch with Vegetables
To add color & crunch you can add fresh vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, kale, etc .
You could also add frozen vegetables like corn, peas, green beans, etc . This will not only add color & crunch but also additional nutrition .
Changing the Consistency of the Soup
If you want your vegetable soup to have a thicker consistency you can add potatoes which have natural starches that will thicken up the broth .
You could also puree some of the cooked vegetables & add them back into the pot which will thicken up the broth . If you want your vegetable soup thinner you could add more broth or water .
For Additional Jazz
- Add diced bacon or smoked sausage for extra flavor & protein .
- Consider adding diced apples for sweetness & freshness , as well as diced sweet potatoes for sweetness & creaminess.
- Top off your bowl of vegetable soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an added layer of flavor .
Doctoring up vegetable soup doesn’t have to be difficult.
With these simple tips from a professional chef you can create a delicious & nutritious meal that everyone will enjoy.
Experimenting with different ingredients & flavors will help you find the perfect combination for your own unique version of this classic dish.