5 Condiments to Spice Up Your Soup

published Oct 28, 2016
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Whether it’s homemade or from a box or can, sometimes soup needs just a little something extra to help spice it up. That’s when we reach for the heavy-hitting flavors from the side door of the refrigerator. Think of condiments as soup’s finishing touch. Go beyond that squirt of Sriracha and try one of these instead.

1. Fish Sauce

The beauty of fish sauce is its versatility beyond the Asian canon of flavors often found in noodle dishes or curries. As long as you’re not heavy-handed with it, it can add a salty, umami punch to soup; it helps balance out tart flavors in tomato soup or adds a spark to basic chicken noodle soup.

2. Dijon Mustard

I can pretty much put Dijon in or on everything — and soup is no different. Stir a little into French onion to add just the slightest touch of tang to balance out the sweet and savory onions, or swirl a little on the top of a puréed vegetable soup to punch it up.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

3. Worcestershire Sauce

I am sure you have a bottle tucked away somewhere that you never know what to do with. Like fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce adds a bit of umami to the pot. It also helps cut the richness of heavier soups like chili or cheesy soups.

4. Chipotle Peppers in Adobo

Specifically, I mean that adobo sauce leftover in that can of chipotle peppers after you’ve used the peppers to make fajitas and spicy Mexican meatballs. Transfer that sauce to an airtight container in your fridge and reach for it to add spicy, smoky heat to any soup like black bean or chicken tortilla. Imagine what it will do to you next pot of tomato soup.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

5. Sambal Oelek

It may get less love than Sriracha, but this hot chile sauce holds its own in the heat department. The Southeast Asian condiment is less acidic than Sriracha and has more heat, so just a little can go a long way when spicing up a pot of soup, like won ton or even classic chicken noodle.

Do you have any go-to condiments you add to soup?