Everyday Soup Flavor Boosters

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eHow Food Blog

I love eating hot soup for lunch or dinner. It’s a one-pot meal, which means hardly any dishes to clean up, you can throw in anything you want, and eating it makes you feel all warm and cozy. The only trouble is, it can get repetitive.

Fortunately, there are certain kitchen staples that can fix up boring soup in a jiffy. When a dish lacks flavor, the solution is to bump up the salt, fat or acid. Here are some creative approaches to doing just that. Keep in mind, these ingredients work well in any savory dish that needs fixing.

Miso Paste:

You may know miso from eating miso soup in Japanese restaurants. It’s usually served in a small bowl, seasoned with a little wakame seaweed and scallions, before the main course. What gives miso soup a taste reminiscent of toasted grains is mellow white miso paste, made from fermented soybeans. It’s naturally very salty, but with a sweetness that keeps it balanced. Whisk together a slurry with a heaping spoonful of miso paste and a little water, pull the soup off the heat, and stir the slurry into the soup. It’s ready to eat. The miso will enhance the flavor and thicken the consistency.

Lemon and Olive Oil:

This classic combo can fix almost anything. I discovered this once when a friend was eating bland lentil soup. I squeezed in a quarter of a lemon’s worth of juice, and a couple of teaspoons of oil. Instantly, the soup had a bright flavor that was not overtly sour, and a rich, mellow taste. Lemon and olive oil works in pretty much any cuisine, whether it’s Asian, Mexican or American, although sometimes you may want to try using lime juice instead.

Yogurt:

Yogurt is acidic and fatty, tangy and rich. Buy fresh, locally made yogurt and try stirring a dollop into bean soup or chili. It blends easily, and it improves digestion. Yogurt is packed with healthy bacteria that helps demanding foods like beans go down easily. It also adds a delicious Mediterranean touch to whatever you’re eating. The addition of yogurt will turn a soup into a hearty meal.

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