The Single Spice To Boost The Flavor Of Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The two obvious ingredients in a classic broccoli cheddar soup recipe are the in its name, plus the usual onion, potato, cream, stock, and seasonings like salt and black pepper. No matter what kind of ingredients go into your version of the hearty soup, it makes for a delicious and filling meal that'll please a crowd, especially in the colder months. But if you want to take the flavors to the next level, a dash of nutmeg will do the trick.

The spice itself has a nutty, sweet, and subtle earthy taste. You're probably used to adding it to baked goods and ciders, but it's just as delicious in savory foods like this soup. Cream and cheddar cheese are rich, and the nutmeg pairs well to balance out the flavors. In fact, nutmeg will highlight the sharpness and nuttiness found in cheddar cheese. That's why you'll commonly see macaroni and cheese recipes with nutmeg included in the ingredients list.

Adding nutmeg to broccoli cheddar soup

We have to warn you that a little nutmeg goes a long way. For a large pot of soup, start with a pinch or half a teaspoon so you don't overpower the dish. You can always add more nutmeg later after the flavors meld together. You probably already have a bottle of ground nutmeg in your spice cabinet — and that's totally fine to use — but if you really want a bold flavor then buy whole nutmeg and freshly grate it for the recipe. Add the nutmeg to the pot with whichever other seasonings your recipe calls for, so that all of the spices blend and infuse their flavors into the soup.

Nutmeg is the ultimate secret ingredient to boost the flavor of broccoli cheddar soup, but it's not the only way to elevate it. If you like smoky and spicy flavors, add a dash of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or chili powder. Dried herbs like thyme are another effortless way to add deeper flavors, or try a squirt of Dijon mustard for tangy spiciness. Meanwhile, bacon or pancetta will introduce meaty flavors; cook them along with the base ingredients or prep them separately and use them as a garnish. For a little texture, garnish the soup with croutons or serve it with crackers or toasted baguette.