Besides chicken soup, I don’t believe you have to cook soup for hours in order to develop deep rich flavors. Whenever I make soup, I start with the base of stock, veggies, and sometimes a protein. Then I add the finishing touch, the extra pop of flavor.
Ingredients like wine, fresh lemon juice, and coconut milk can save you hours of cooking time. In just a matter of minutes, these ingredients can provide tremendous depth to soup.
Here are some of my favorite flavor boosters for soup:
Some soups can take a dash of red wine. I usually add some to onion or mushroom soup to make it taste like it’s been simmering for hours. Add it towards the beginning of the cooking process with sautéed veggies to cook off any alcohol.
When your soup is good but needs something extra, add a few dashes of vinegar. I love to add red wine vinegar to lentil and split pea soup, for example. It’s a quick fix that takes a more subtle-flavored soup to the next level.
I add soy sauce to more bland bases like boxed broths. It adds rich flavor to meat soups like flanken onion soup. You can also add soy sauce to soups like udon, miso, or hot and sour soup.
Coconut Cream and Cream Cheese:
When I want added creaminess in a parve soup I reach for coconut cream or coconut milk. It adds a cool and fresh element that brightens up the other flavors.
I had to add cream cheese to this list because it provides so much body and richness instantly. I add a heaping spoonful to potato or tomato soup – yum!
Fresh Lemon Juice:
I’m going to thank my Sephardic roots for this one. We add fresh lemon to everything, and soup is no exception. For soups like chicken, mushroom orzo, and taco soup, it brightens them up and adds an irresistible tang.
I’m talking curry, cumin, garam masala. Any bold spices can do wonders for a soup! As you can see from the spices I’ve mentioned, Indian soups are usually the ones that rely heavily on spices (and coconut milk).
Salt and Pepper:
This one may be obvious, but is still important to mention. The difference between an unseasoned soup and a well seasoned one can make them worlds apart. Don’t underestimate the power of salt and pepper.