Dill Pickles Are The Zesty Ingredient Your Vegetable Soup Needs

Good ingredients are the key to making any soup special. Choosing one set can make it savory and chunky, while another set may make it creamy and smooth. This versatility can make it fun to experiment with new ways to elevate and enhance your go-to soup recipes. This is especially the case when it comes to vegetable soup, as its limited ingredients can, at times, lack the depth of flavor that meatier soups may offer. If you are looking for a new way to liven up your next batch of veggie soup, look no further than our latest recommendation: dill pickles.

While it may seem unusual, dill pickles are a great ingredient for more than just burgers and sandwiches. In the case of soup, its benefits are twofold. For one, the sour, vinegary flavor of the pickle, along with the herby notes of dill, add a bright acidity that many vegetable soups — especially those without tomatoes — typically lack. This acidity helps to make the existing flavors of the soup pop thanks to the contrast it offers. The second perk these pickles offer is that of a delightfully crunchy texture, which can help prevent your palate from becoming fatigued by the otherwise uniform mouthfeel of the soup, much in the way that croutons or oyster crackers would.

How to add pickles to any soup

If you really want an ingredient like dill pickles to shine when incorporating them into your soup, it is best to use them as a finishing ingredient or garnish. This way their acidity and freshness is not lost by being too well combined into the rest of the dish. The best method for leveraging the pickles is to either finely chop or grate the pickle and then sprinkle it over top of the soup like you would with any other garnish. If you don't enjoy the texture of pickles, you can alternatively drizzle a bit of pickle juice over the soup as you would olive oil.

This trick is a great way to upgrade a wide variety of vegetable soups. It can easily balance out the umami notes in recipes like roasted vegetable and tomato lentil soup or  satisfyingly hearty minestrone soup. It can also work in dishes that don't exclusively feature vegetables, such as turkey vegetable soup. The sky is the limit, so don't be afraid to experiment with your favorite soup recipes and see which ones you find to be a good fit.