Warming, wholesome and easy to make, soup is a delicious part of any meal. Add in the right combination of spices and seasonings, and you’ll have an even stronger flavour base for your favourite soups. And if you’re planning on enjoying leftovers, fun toppings ensure you get the most out of your meal again and again.
French Onion Soup
The base: This soup is all about the richness of its broth. If you’re using store-bought broth, add in layers of flavour by seasoning it with dried herbs (thyme, sage or bay leaves are great choices) or other aromatics, such as black peppercorns, carrots or celery. Try switching up the main ingredient: Red or yellow onions, shallots or even leeks give this classic soup a fun twist.
The toppings: Try a baguette, sourdough or pumpernickel for the bread component, and top with different cheeses—Gruyère, Swiss or Parmesan are all tasty options.
Try it: Canadian Onion Soup
Tip: A sharp knife will help you chop through onions swiftly—less exposure time means fewer tears.
The base: Try playing with the texture of this Canadian classic for different effects. Made at home with canned diced tomatoes and other chopped veggies, tomato soup can be left chunky for a more rustic variety or puréed until completely smooth.
The toppings: Amp up this everyday comfort food and add creaminess by stirring in sour cream or Greek yogourt right before serving. For a rich experience, try topping with cheese, such as ricotta, feta, grilled halloumi or goat cheese. Alternatively, tomato soup works well with a sprinkle of toasted nuts for a little crunch. Drizzling it with chili oil or pesto is also a nice option. However you personalize your tomato soup, serve it with croutons or crusty olive-oil-brushed bread for dipping.
Try it: Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil
Tip: Leftover or overripe tomatoes can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer and then popped into tomato soup and puréed until smooth.
The base: Both pumpkin and squash soup make great bases for building creative flavour combinations. Start by switching up the liquid—try chicken, beef or vegetable broth, or even coconut milk. For a sweeter and fuller flavour, roast the pumpkin or squash before adding it to your soup. Season with curry powder or paste, or add extra spice with a pinch or two of paprika or cayenne pepper. Create the perfect balance of flavours with a little acidity by stirring in a splash of apple cider vinegar or lime juice at the very end of the cooking time.
The toppings: If you’re roasting pumpkin for your soup, reserve a few chunks per serving to scatter over top. Or use savoury popcorn as a fun, crunchy garnish.
Tip: Don’t waste those pumpkin and squash seeds! Set them aside to dry on a paper towel and then roast them with a little salt for a tasty snack or soup topping.
The base: A classic for soothing colds and warming the soul, chicken soup can be adapted to a number of flavour profiles. Make a Thai version by adding ginger, curry paste and lemongrass to the liquid base. Equally delicious is a Mexican-style chicken soup: Add chopped jalapeños, corn, lime juice and a little sour cream to the broth. In the mood for an Italian-style chicken soup? Stir fresh oregano, lemon zest and cooked pancetta into the pot. Egg noodles are the classic choice for chicken soup, but for a change, try a different pasta shape, like orecchiette, tortellini or farfalle. If you’re looking for something heartier, stir in chewy cooked grains such as farro, spelt or barley.
The toppings: Top the Thai version with thin slices of sweet red pepper. Finish off your Italian-style chicken soup with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and add a generous handful of diced avocado to Mexican soup.
Try it: Chicken Noodle Soup
Tip: Make this soup come together in no time by using shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Other Creative Soups to Try
Always remember to store leftovers safely. Find food safety tips from the Government of Canada here.