Why You Should Always Include An Acidic Component In Soup

Comforting, nourishing, wholesome, and indulgent, soup season is happily upon us. As the days grow darker, colder, and shorter, many of us find ourselves reaching for hearty stews, soups, and dals that feel like a cozy hug in a cashmere sweater. However, the unifying secret to creating a perfectly seasoned, steaming bowl of warming soup may surprise you, as it necessitates conscious effort throughout the cooking process.

Even the most straightforward of soups often involves seasoning the ingredients at multiple stages during the cooking process in order to build in layers of flavor — especially by using a light amount of salt at nearly every step (via Epicurious). But what happens if we become a little too heavy-handed with the salt? If your soup is only a touch too salty, you can likely balance things out simply by adding an acidic ingredient. And, when it comes to adding acidic to soup, that isn't the ingredient's only function.

Ways to add acidity to soup and why

Even if your soup is expertly salted, adding acidic flavors can heighten and amplify the natural flavors of the dish, adding complexity for a more pleasurable eating experience (via Mother Earth Living).

Easy ways to add acid to a soup include contributing a splash of vinegar, fresh lemon or lime, canned tomatoes, or pickled fruits or vegetables, per Mother Earth Living, or, as Cook's Country reveals, white wine or yogurt. The type of acid you add should depend on the flavors already present in the dish; This is why it's generally recommended to add canned tomatoes, for example, to a soup already containing the ingredient.

What's more? Acid added at the end of the cooking process can brighten and enliven flavors, topping off your soup with a little extra vibrancy for good eating and constant culinary improvement as a home cook (via Food & Wine).