The Leafy Ingredient You Should Be Adding To Soups For Bolder, Peppery Flavor

There are many hacks and ingredients to upgrade a pot of homemade soup, such as leafy greens like collards, kale, and spinach, to add flavor, texture, and some extra nutrients in each spoonful. From the many leafy green vegetables in the produce section, bok choy is an ideal option to infuse the soup with a cabbage-like taste and mildly peppery flavor. You might not have much experience cooking this cruciferous vegetable, but adding it to soups is an easy task.

It's not just about the peppery and fresh flavors. Bok choy will also elevate any soup with varying textures because the leaves are on the softer side while the stalks provide a nice crunch. This is a nice addition if the rest of the ingredients in the pot are more tender. The leafy vegetable is also packed with nutrients like vitamins C and K, making a more nutritional soup with minimal effort. All of those reasons (plus the fact that bok choy is downright delicious) are why it makes its way to many traditional Chinese soups like noodle soup with garlic and ginger.

Add bok choy to the pot towards the end — or lose its crunch

There are some general tips you need when cooking with bok choy. For soup, the first step is to wash it well to remove any dirt or debris that might be stuck under the leaves and around the stalks. Depending on the type and size of the bok choy, you might want to cut the leaves or simply tear off each leaf and stalk for larger pieces in the soup. You can also remove the stems entirely if you prefer the soft leaves only. Perhaps the most essential step to adding bok choy to any sort of soup is to wait until the end of the cooking process before it goes into the pot. You want the bok choy to be tender but not overcooked and soft, so it only takes a few minutes in the pot before you lose its crunch.

You can add bok choy to any type of soup and benefit from those flavors, textures, and nutrients. Lean into the Chinese inspiration and make a spicy noodle soup with ingredients like garlic, ginger, sesame oil, mushrooms, and carrots. Add chicken or beef for a source of protein and meaty flavor in the pot. Here at Tasting Table, we have some soup recipes that use the veggie that you can test out. Cook our hearty bok choy soup with tofu and mushrooms or try this easy wonton soup recipe that uses store-bought wontons.