Canned soups are a pantry. They come in clutch when you don’t want to cook yet another meal or you just need something to curb your hunger quickly. But despite their incredible convenience, there is something we can all probably agree on: they are incredibly boring. Not only do many canned soups lack flavor (other than salt), but they can also be a bit cunning with their protein and fiber sources (meaning you won’t stay full long after heating one).
You don’t have to force yourself through soft soups to get by – and this applies to both hoped-for canned soups and the simple home-made soups you’ve thrown together in minutes using canned foods.
We put together a list of the simplest hacks that will take your soup from sad to fab. Most of them use food, ingredients and dressings that you already have in your pantry, making these upgrades even more worth your time.
Apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, lemon juice – everything will work. Soups are heavy in salt and fat, and vinegar is the essential ingredient that balances everything and makes your soup taste 100% better. It’s like a magic ingredient. Seriously – try it. Grab your bottle Bragg apple cider vinegar, and sprinkled.
If you have fresh spinach and kale, great. But if you want to stick to pantry staples, always keep some chopped spinach in your freezer at all times. That way, when you add it to the pan while heating your soup, it warms up with it. These greens add a significant amount of vegetables to pasta-rich soups like chicken noodle. Speaking of chicken noodle soup… We tasted 10 chicken noodle soups – this was the best.
Don’t throw those crusts out! Just tossing one into your soup while simmering will allow your soup to extract all the umami and cheesy goodness from the crust, adding a dimension to your soup that makes you wonder why stores don’t just sell parmesan shells alone.
When you have a high-quality olive oil, just dripping it on top of your canned soup will make your whole meal taste like a five-star dish. When we say high quality, we are talking about an extra virgin olive oil like Kosterina. The taste is pure and light. This is exactly how you would think olive oil should taste – buttery, not overly grassy and rich.
Load up on vegetarian soups, like lentil soup, and then increase your protein count even more by throwing your leftover sausage off last night.
Feel beautiful, use your leftover herbs, and get your canned soup taste as fresh as it would if you made it that day.
Don’t throw that bread out on the counter! Rip it into pieces (yes, ripping is better than cutting – you get more raw pieces that can get nice and tasty), sprinkle them in olive oil, toss them on a cast iron pan or in the oven with some garlic, and you have yourself even some homemade croutons that will take your soup to the next level.
French onion soup is not the only soup that deserves cheesy bread on top. You can do this with any soup you like.
When you have a hot butternut squash or carrot ginger soup, the best way to both lighten the flavors and cool your soup at the same time is to add a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream. If you have leftover yogurt, use it up with these 26 things you can do with yogurt.
Whether you were grilling or roasting some vegetables last night, whatever, they are a great addition to your canned soup. Roasted carrots, grilled zucchini, roasted red peppers – you name it.
Pepper jack on chili, parmesan on minestrone and cheddar on tomato cheese marks everything taste better. For inspiration for your next grocery trip, read these 8 best Cheddar cheeses at the Supermarket, and 2 that you should avoid making the best choice of cheese.
Soups are filling on their own, but have you ever wanted them to miss something? That something is typically a bang. If you don’t have croutons on hand, you probably have some nuts or seeds on the back of your pantry. Sprinkle on some plain pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or shake them up in a saucepan with a little light spice to add another dimension.
For thick, creamy soups you can give them a flavor boost with a garlic chili oil. All you have to do is simmer some garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in olive oil, let the garlic get crispy and browned, then pour it over the top of your hot soup. You can thank us later.
Salads, avocado toast, burgers … If you put an egg on almost anything, it will taste exponentially better. add an egg to the soup to give it a silky, creamy texture.
Look in your spice cabinet, take a mixture and sprinkle it on your soup. Boom: you have arrived in the city of flavors. Spice mixes are simply concentrated flavor bombs that jazz up even the most boring soups. For the ramen, we recommend investing in some togarashi: a sesame seed chili pepper mixture. If you have filled the ramen, be sure to check out these 3 recipes for doctor up a pack of instant ramen next.