You might have spent a good amount of time cooking up a soup at home, being excited to sit back and enjoy it with a slice of crusty bread, only to have a taste and realize that the soup is really bland!
You might be tempted to throw it out and start again, or just power through and eat the bland soup, but there are actually some great ways to fix bland soup and make it delicious.
How can you fix bland soup?
There are some simple and effective ways to fix bland soup. Some of the best ways include adding in cream, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, and other herbs and spices. What you add in will depend on the flavors in the soup, and the textures you’re after.
Nobody wants to have bland, tasteless soup, especially when there are some really simple ways to elevate a bland soup to be delicious and enjoyable! Read on for some simple and effective tricks to use to make your bland soup delicious.
Why Is My Soup Bland?
Before you get on to the tricks to use to liven up your soup, you would first be asking yourself why your soup is bland to start off with.
There are quite a few different reasons as to why a soup might be bland. These are the main reasons:
No Browning of Ingredients
One of the main reasons why a soup might be bland is because the ingredients were not browned initially. Browning the ingredients, whether meat, onions, or vegetables, helps to add a lot of flavor to a soup, and is a step that shouldn’t be missed.
There can be a lot of flavor in the liquid in a soup, from the spices and herbs you use or from the ingredients that have been cooked in the liquid.
If you add too much water to the liquid, then it could dilute the flavors and you will not get the same intensity of flavor that your soup should have.
The stock you use in your soup is really important. Good quality stock will add a great depth of flavor to a dish, and give it the overall quality that you would want. A low-quality stock will not have the same effect, and it won’t have the good balance of flavor or intensity of flavor that your soup deserves!
Bland Mix of Ingredients
You might just not have used the right ingredients to make your soup, or you have used ingredients that don’t complement each other and do nothing to bring out the flavor in one another.
You might also not have used enough seasoning such as salt, pepper, herbs, and spices.
How to Fix Bland Soup
There are a few different ways you can fix bland soup, and the method you use to fix bland soup will depend on the type of soup you are making, the texture of the soup, as well as the flavors you want to achieve.
One tip before you read on is to test out the trick on a small ladle of soup first (adding in less of a certain ingredient than you would to a whole pot of soup) just to see if you like the flavors.
Here are some simple and effective ways to fix bland soup:
Check the Salt Level
One of the most basic ways to enhance the flavors of a soup, and to bring about a better taste, is to add a little bit of extra salt. However, you just need to be very careful that you do not add too much salt to the soup, as this could end up making it even worse.
Taste the soup before adding salt, just to make sure that it doesn’t taste salty enough already. Salt is a great way to fix a boring soup, but it definitely isn’t the method to use for all bland soups.
Add a small amount of salt if needed, taste the soup, and add more if necessary. Rather start small than add in too much salt in one go.
Add in Umami
Umami is a unique flavor that is often overlooked, and adding umami to a soup that lacks flavor is a great way to elevate it.
Umami is a core taste, included in the taste category of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The savory flavor of umami can be found in various ingredients, such as roasted onions, parmesan rinds, seaweed, anchovies, and soy sauce.
The simplest way to add an umami flavor to a meal is to add in a dash of soy sauce, tasting it as you go, making sure that you do not add in too much and that the soup becomes too salty.
Add in Dairy
If the soup you are making has dairy in it, or if it is a soup that will handle dairy well, then adding in some cream, sour cream or even natural yogurt can add great flavor to the soup.
The dairy will thicken the soup, add richness, and enhance the overall flavor too. This is quite a great trick as you likely have some sort of suitable diary sitting in your fridge already that you can use.
Grate in Some Cheese
There are some types of soup that taste really great with some grated cheese. Soup such as minestrone and vegetable soup can be made much better with some extra grated cheese.
The trick is to not cook the grated cheese in the soup, but rather add a sprinkle of grated or shredded cheese onto the top of the soup once it is served.
You can pretty much choose any cheese you prefer, but cheddar, parmesan, and gouda are good options to add flavor.
A Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce has quite a complex flavor, and adding it to a soup that needs flavor, rather than just salt, is a sure way to add a little more depth.
The rich flavors in Worcestershire sauce can do just enough to enhance the soup, but start off by adding a small amount first and then taste, adding in more if needed.
Add in Fish Sauce
There are some types of soup that taste delicious with fish sauce, but it definitely isn’t the answer for all soups, as it does have quite a seafood-like flavor.
Fish sauce is a good option for Asian-style soups, as the flavor would blend in well with the other ingredients. Once again, start off small and add in more if necessary, as it can be quite an overwhelming flavor if too much is added in.
Allow the Soup to Reduce
It could be that there is too much liquid, especially water, in your soup, and this has diluted the flavors somewhat. If you do not want to add in other ingredients to the soup, you could leave the soup to reduce down.
Allowing the soup to reduce will concentrate the flavor of the ingredients it already contains. However, keep in mind that reducing the soup will cause the ingredients to soften more, which is fine for some soups, but not really ideal if it is a vegetable soup.
Add Fresh Herbs
Dry herbs do best when they are cooked in a soup for a period of time, and it might be too late to add dried herbs to the soup once it is cooked. Instead, you can add in some fresh herbs at the end.
Chopped parsley, basil, coriander, oregano, and thyme can all complement different soups and just add some freshness and flavor to a bland, tasteless soup.
Chop up Some Garlic
If you are a lover of garlic, then you have a very simple way to spruce up your soup! Chop up some garlic really finely, and mix it in with a little bit of olive oil. Add some of this into the soup, and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes before serving.
If you do not mind the taste of raw garlic, then you can add the garlic to the soup as it is served.
Fixing Bland Soup
There really is no reason you have to eat bland soup, as there are so many different ways you can spice up the flavor and improve the soup.
Above, we have listed some simple, yet super-effective, tricks to fix bland soup, and instead give you a delicious, rich meal!
Make sure to test out the trick on a small amount of soup first, just to make sure you like it, before adding anything to the rest of the soup.
What Should I Add to Bland Chicken Soup?
The best thing to add to bland chicken soup is some fresh herbs. You can make a little mix of melted butter, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt to add to the soup.
Does Soup Taste Better if Left to Simmer for Longer?
Soup does tend to taste better when it is left to simmer for longer, as the flavor becomes more pronounced and more concentrated.