The Ingredient Addition You Might Not Expect For Tastier Soup

Revamping soup can be as easy as adding another ingredient to the mix. However, beyond a handful of herbs or a generous serving of protein, there's another unique addition that you might want to start working into bland broths and tasteless stews. Finding inspiration where you'd least expect it, the ingredient capable of producing a more flavorful soup is a staple that you likely have on hand. 

Condiments are often overlooked in recipes, yet, they have the power to be total culinary game changers as they can effortlessly transform dishes by adding another dimension of flavor, texture, and even color. Of the many condiments that are up to the task, we recommend salad dressing to elevate your next soup. Laced with all sorts of herbs and seasonings, salad dressing can add complexity in next to no time at all, saving you the hassle of having to chop, mince, or grate a surplus of ingredients. 

Plus, because they boast both fat and acid, salad dressings can help give soups a more well-rounded profile. For example, a broth that's begging for richness can be remedied with a creamy dressing, whereas another that lacks structure or vibrancy can be improved with a citrusy vinaigrette. The question is, how exactly are salad dressings best worked in lackluster soups?

A little salad dressing goes a long way

Although any type of salad dressing — from raspberry vinaigrette to Caesar — can be used to take soup to the next level, high quality ingredients tend to yield tastier results, so choose dressings wisely. And should you have any homemade dressing, this could be a good opportunity to make use of leftovers.

As for how to pair a salad dressing, think about which flavors or textures a soup might be missing, and consider what will provide a nice contrast or complement to what's in the pot. For example, decadent Thousand Island dressing might be exactly what a lean vegetable soup needs, much like how a sweet-sour balsamic vinaigrette can help lighten up a rich tomato bisque. Alternatively, a zesty Italian vinaigrette could jazz up a simple bean stew, while a herby ranch would fit right into a loaded potato chowder. 

When it comes to how much salad dressing to include, the amount will depend on the recipe. Though the dressing shouldn't overwhelm the soup, you want to know that it's in there, so start by adding a teaspoon, and taste and adjust as you go. Just remember that while vinaigrettes can be added early on in the soup-making process and left to simmer away, creamier dressings should instead be added towards the end to avoid any curdling.

Give this unexpected ingredient a try for yourself and see the "soup-er" effects that salad dressing can have on your favorite recipes!