Have you ever made a soup that was well-salted and full of flavorful components, but tasted a little...flat? There's an easy fix you might be overlooking.
Just add acid! A small amount of an acidic ingredient like lemon juice added at the end of cooking brightens flavors, especially in long-simmered bean soups or rich meat-based soups. Start with a little bit of acid, taste and adjust, until your soup tastes balanced and bright. It's amazing how a dull soup can come to life with a bit of vinegar or lime juice.
Here are a few acidic ingredients you can use:
• Lemon or lime juice:
Start with a teaspoon or two and add more as desired.
Add half a teaspoon (or more) of your favorite vinegar.
Fresh or canned tomatoes can be finely chopped and added as a garnish at the end of cooking, or left in chunks and cooked in the soup.
It might sound strange, but one of my favorite ways to eat lentil soup is garnished with a big spoonful of sauerkraut. Or how about pickled red onions on a black bean soup?
• Crème fraîche, yogurt or sour cream:
A small dollop on a serving of soup looks pretty and adds a refreshing tang.
Do you usually add a bit of acid to your soups? Are there any soup-friendly acidic ingredients you would add to the list?
Related: Hearty, Earthy, and...Lemony? Lentil Soup from Orangette
(Image: Emma Christensen)