Crispy, Crunchy, Chewy: 6 Unusual Garnishes for Soup

We've been making big batches of soup on the weekend and eating it for meals all week long! Topping the bowl with a garnish or two is a way to add some variety, especially toward the end of the week when we're getting a little tired of eating the same thing. Here are a few we think are fun and unexpected!

1. Roasted Chickpeas - Chickpeas become crunchy on the outside and a bit chewy in the middle after some time in the oven. This would be the perfect texture contrast for a creamy pureed soup.

2. Toasted Nori - These thin sheets of pressed seaweed crisp up beautifully after a few minutes in a low oven or toaster oven, then you can crumble them on top of a bowl of soup. Mark Bittman recommends brushing the top with water for even crispier sheets!

3. Baked Tofu - Again, chewy cubes of baked tofu would add texture and substance to a simple pureed soup. Try marinating them in soy sauce or balsamic vinegar before toasting.

4. Microwave Potato Chips - Visually, we love the look of thin, frilly potato chips resting on top of a soup. Cooking them in the microwave concentrates their flavor, too!

5. Pie Dough Scraps - If you're making a pie for dessert, use some of your baked pie dough trimmings to float on your soup like crackers. Cheese straws and pieces of puff pastry also work well.

6. Roasted Vegetables - Save a few vegetables from the soup itself and roast them instead, as in the picture of roasted poblano soup above! The roasted veggies highlight the flavors of the soup and add a different texture.

What other garnishes do you like on your soup?

Related: The Wow Factor: Origami Crane Garnishes

(Image: Flickr member William.Neuheisel licensed under Creative Commons)