While soup falls under the category of comfort food, it usually doesn't have the same indulgence factor that, say, macaroni and cheese or warm brownies have. That's not to say that it can't feel a bit decadent, though — all it needs is the right finishing touch. Here are five ingredients that are guaranteed to make your bowl a little more special.
1. Olive Oil
I am talking about the kind of olive oil you'd happily eat with just bread — not the big jug you pour into a skillet every time you cook, but, as Ina would say, the "good olive oil." Treat yourself to a small bottle of high-quality olive oil for moments like this. Find one you love — be it one that's extra peppery or one that has a nice grassy finish. All you'll need is a little drizzle, but it will lend a delicate richness to your bowl of soup.
2. Crème Fraîche
Think of crème fraîche as a richer, milkier, and thicker version of sour cream, with a fancier name to boot (a dollop of crème fraîche just sounds more luxurious than a dollop of sour cream). Swirled into a puréed vegetable soup or even chili, it makes everything creamy, slightly tangy, and a bit richer in your mouth.
3. Truffle Salt
Truffle salt doesn't come cheap, but you really only need a pinch sprinkled over your bowl for its earthy, funky saltiness to come through. Reach for it when you're staring down at a bowl of extra-wholesome vegetable soup and it's boring you to death.
4. Crispy Prosciutto
Here's what you need to do: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat; add a few slices of prosciutto in a single layer and cook for a couple of minutes until they are curling and lightly browned underneath; flip and cook another minute or two; transfer to paper towels to drain and, once cool, crumble the slices with your hands and no-so-shyly garnish your soup for a little umami-rich crunch.
5. Poached Egg
I'm going to go ahead and say it: Poached eggs really are the most luxurious preparation for eggs. I mean, hello eggs Benedict! Add a poached egg to your bowl of soup and you not only made it fancier, but you also made it into a meal. Poach the eggs separately or you can even poach them right in the individual bowls of hot broth.