What are your favorite ways to fix a boring soup?

I made a pretty boring veggie soup the other day. I added fish sauce, and that helped, but do you guys have any other suggestions?



Cindyatbeach December 14, 2015
A little worcestershire sauce can help. Also, pureeing part of the soup can make it thicker and more appealing.
Sam1148 December 11, 2015
A splash of wine, sherry or vermouth. Where is Julia when we need her? A good glug of wine will make a boring soup good.
HalfPint December 11, 2015
QueenSashy December 11, 2015
... another thought. You can make dumplings from cream of wheat (as in this recipe https://food52.com/recipes/20588-choucroute-soup-with-knoedels). They are very simple to make and taste like snowflakes. They are a popular addition to soups in Central and Eastern Europe. You can also add some parsley to the "batter", or other herbs and spices.
Micki B. December 11, 2015
If it can handle being cooked a little longer, throw in some parmesan rinds!
Michele December 11, 2015
Croutons fried with garlic and olive oil. I have to do this from time to time and it really improves the soup.
QueenSashy December 11, 2015
In Chinese cuisine there is a wonderful broth flavored with star anise, cinnamon, ginger, scallions, and soy sauce. There are many variations on the web... Here is one I like to make http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chinese-poached-chicken-breasts-with-star-anise. I also make a Westernized version of it, see the recipe for Christmas Duck Soup with Star Anise here, http://www.threelittlehalves.com/2014/12/poor-mans-christmas-rich-mans-christmas.html. There is also a nice recipe in one of the Fuschia Dunlop's book, but do not remember which one -- need to look it up.
Nancy December 11, 2015
These sound lovely. Want to make them right now.
Is this the Fuchsia Dunlop broth you were thinking of?
QueenSashy December 11, 2015
That's it!!! Aromatic broth. A friend borrowed my Land of Plenty, but it's also in Revolutionary Chinese cookbook, page 54.
scruz December 11, 2015
that is my absolute favorite. i use the 5 spices (or however many) for every meat broth with the soy, ginger and sesame oil. such a clean and warm flavor.
Stephanie December 14, 2015
Good call! Star anise is the secret ingredient in most of my soups. It's amazing what a flavor impact it can make.
cookbookchick December 11, 2015
I made a puréed carrot soup the other day that seemed kind of lacking. I added some fresh grated ginger root, some grated lemons rind, and a bit more salt. That really brightened the flavor. Then for more body, I did something I've never done before -- I added some leftover hummus. It's pretty darn tasty now!
lloreen December 11, 2015
You could treat it like dal and add a spiced oil at the end. Sautée garlic or ginger and some spices in a tablespoon of hot olive oil until they are fragrant, then add to the soup and let it simmer to incorporate.
Kristen W. December 11, 2015
Mushrooms can bring umami to veg stock, which adds depth. Also, I would ask these questions:

Is there enough salt?
Is the broth reduced enough?
Are the sweet, bitter, and acidic components balanced?
Is there a fatty/starchy element (like an avocado or cheese garnish or some pasta or rice)? I think a little fat and/or starch can help out a veg soup a lot.
Could it use some heat?

That's probably where I would start with trying to fix a boring soup. Let us know what you wind up doing!

Nancy December 11, 2015
I was going to suggest there's no one solution, and to consider the balance of tastes on the tongue, but you already covered that.
The other main thing I would consider is texture - too thin or too thick, not enough texture contrast, nutrient types?
and act accordingly.
e.g. add some starch that could cook into the soup or some more liquids, some crunch (croutons have been mentioned, but also nuts or fresh vegetables as garnish), some fat (for mouthfeel) or protein or carb if there's not enough of that.
CanadaDan December 10, 2015
I second lemon juice/zest or even thinly sliced preserved lemon. A thick balsamic drizzle it also helpful. A really good olive oil always goes on my veg soups at the end too.
scruz December 10, 2015
homemade croutons on top.
LeBec F. December 10, 2015
all or some:
tomato paste
canned beans plain or flavored
Zartarian's packaged red beans and rice or black beans and rice
okra, cut into 1" lengths- frozen or fresh
persian dried limes
chopped dill, parsley, cilantro- lots of
lemon juice
pesto and pasta
for asian slant: minced sauteed ginger and coconut milk, lime juice.
sexyLAMBCHOPx December 10, 2015
You could add some cheese tortellini or mini ravioli.
702551 December 10, 2015
Adding some kimchi can help some soups.
AntoniaJames December 10, 2015
Chopped parsley (lots of it), plus a generous spoonful of a sharp stoneground mustard (I like one with horseradish in it!) Vinegar or lemon juice will also brighten the soup up. And are you sure it has enough salt and freshly ground pepper? ;o)
soozbooz3 December 10, 2015
Taylor R. December 10, 2015
I love a scoop of sour cream in veggie soups!
inpatskitchen December 10, 2015
Certain soups benefit by adding a little vinegar at the very end.
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