How to supercharge your soup

Soup is so popular on bbcgoodfood.com, but beyond your usual blends, we have ways of sprucing up humble recipes. Our clever toppings will turn soup into an extra healthy dish that’ll help boost your immunity and general wellbeing.

How to super-charge your soup

We have hundreds of soup recipes on bbcgoodfood.com, from minestrone and miso, to chicken and chowder. Once you have your basic blend nailed, there are plenty of ways to garnish your soup to ramp it up to the next level. We’ve picked seven nutritionally rich ingredients that’ll send your soup rocketing into the healthy stratosphere.

First, achieve soup perfection

How to make soupWe have lots of resources to help you get the basics right, so look through our recipes and guides to ensure you have a solid foundation for building your soup into something spectacular.

Guide to making soup
How to make soup from leftover ingredients
Our top soup recipes
Healthy soup recipes
Vegetarian soup recipes
The best soup recipes for kids

7 ways to super-charge soup

Almonds

Almond soupCrunchy almonds add texture as well as nutritional kudos to soup, and if you use a healthy, creamy soup recipe like smooth cauliflower as the base, the texture contrast will be even more satisfying. Almonds are rich in protective vitamin E, especially if you eat them with their skins intact. The flavonoids found in the skin more than double vitamin E’s protective potency, giving you more bang for your buck.


Bio yogurt

Beef goulash soupIf you want to add a mellowing agent to soup, you’re not restricted to using heavy double cream or crème fraîche. Bio yogurt is lower in fat, plus it’s great for the gut as it’s a fermented food. This is good news as the tummy is where 60% of our immune defences lie, so eating bio yogurt may increase your resistance to viral and bacterial infection - time to grab a spoon and add a generous dollop. We like it on a chunky soup like this beef goulash with added fresh parsley.


Lime

lentil soupFresh limes are rich in vitamin C, which is absolutely essential for good immune function. Limes also help the liver to detoxify, making them a perfect choice if you feel you need to reboot your body after a bout of eating lots of rich food. The skin and zest are particularly potent, so if you can handle the tang, get grating. Lime works really well on soups with Mexican or Indian flavours, like this red lentil & coconut soup.


Nutmeg

Nutmeg and carrot soupUnassumiung nutmeg is packed with goodness. It has anti-microbial properties, plus it enhances digestion and stimulates appetite. Add a sprinkle or grating to taste – it has a strong flavour that isn’t to everyone’s liking. We think it works well with this carrot soup that also has nutmeg in the blend itself, plus ginger, which has a myriad of positive medicinal properties.


Parsley

Supergreen soupFresh herbs are a winning ingredient, adding flavour and nutrition to a dish, yet barely any calories. Parsley doesn’t have an overbearing flavour, so can be used on all manner of soups, and it’s rich in immune-supportive vitamin C, making it ideal for winter months. This super-green soup with extra parsley is about as healthy as it gets, being jam-packed with veggies and fresh turmeric. Another great thing about parsley is it’s price point – greengrocers, market stalls and international supermarkets often sell huge bunches of parsley for under a pound.


Wholegrain rice

Bone brothAdd substance to soup without resorting to high-GI carbohydrates by using wholegrain rice. It’s rich in minerals, including zinc, which can help shorten the duration of a cold. It’s a perfect addition to thinner soups, like this bone broth. The chicken carcass used to make it still has a little meat on the bones, helping to create the jellified finish you’re after.


Seeds

Pumpkin soupSeeds are a simple but effective way of adding an extra dose of goodness to soups (or indeed salads). Just a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, which can help memory and brainpower as well as immunity. If you’re making pumpkin soup, you won’t even have to head to the wholefoods aisle as you can use the inside of your gourd. Our guide shows you how to prepare pumpkin seeds at home.

What do you like to add to your soup? We’d love to hear your healthy suggestions.

Comments, questions and tips

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saintagnes
2nd Feb, 2017
Try adding any leftover couscous and/or cooked rice - this is particularly good in pumpkin soup and zucchini soup. Diced bacon pieces make a tasy addition to almost any soup I grow most of my vegetables and I am a bit of a soup fanatic.
Bethsheba of th...
10th Feb, 2016
Make your stock, adding vegetables as beetroot, parsnip, peas, beans, butternut squash, turnip, swede etc, even Brussels sprouts! To add extra nutrition to soups in addition to using this stock as a base, add in chia seed, quinoa, amaranth seeds and green or orange lentils. This means your soup tastes incredible and additionally your are increasing its nutritional content significantly!
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ajctracey
26th Jan, 2016
A shot of coconut milk instead of cream is delicious in spicy soups based on tomatoes or carrots.