10 Toppings for Soup

10 Toppings for Soup

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There's nothing quite like curling up on a chilly evening with some hot soup. The bowl is warming your cold fingers and you’ve got the perfect spoon for the occasion. Only… the steaming broth doesn’t really make you want to dive in. In fact, it looks rather plain and boring.

Just like how vanilla ice cream can transform into a something special with the right toppings, your soup can become a legitimate gourmet meal when garnished with love.

Here are ten topping ideas, including ready to use ingredients and some recipes, that will add colour, texture, heat, acidity, or all four to your next bowl of soup.


Chilli Oil/Chilli Crisp
If you’re looking for heat but aren’t a fan of vinegar based hot sauces, then chilli oil or chilli crisp is a great condiment to keep in your arsenal. They usually contain extra spices and aromatics as well as chilli, so it not only adds heat but a tonne of flavour and texture with just a drizzle.
Saucy Wench’s chilli oil is a classic Asian style that uses tongue-tingling Szechuan pepper and roasted chilli flakes that warms you from the inside out. The Asian-Italian hybrid crispy chilli oil by Fuoco includes rosemary and bay leaf that adds a camphoraceous quality, while gochugaru chilli gives an approachable medium heat. You could also make your own crispy chilli oil, using the ingredients in our Noods Cookbook Collection! All would be delicious drizzled over congee/jook and other Asian soups like egg drop, wonton/manduguk, lanzhou lamian or even Shin-Ramyun, but also a smooth white bean or sweet potato soup.

Truffle Oil
The king of gourmet condiments. A small drizzle of truffle oil can turn a humble soup into a decadent, treat-yo-self moment. It’s intense earthiness and unique aroma shines best on soups with mild flavours like potato and leek, cream of mushroom (obviously!), cauliflower, adding an earthy, luxurious aroma that’s pure indulgence.

Lobster Oil
Another luxurious condiment but for pescatarians or the adventurous. Ferguson’s Lobster Oil infuses Australian olive oil with Southern Rock Lobster. It’s a golden ruby colour with a nutty, roasted crustacean aroma that adds richness and complexity to seafood broths and soups like bouillabaisse, chowder and tom yum talay.

Citrus Agrumato
Whole citrus fruits like lemons and blood oranges are crushed with whole olives to make this fragrant, citrus infused olive oil. This pantry saviour is what we reach for when our soup is plenty flavourful, though it could use a touch of brightness and something herbaceous, but we don’t have any fresh produce on hand. It instantly brightens and lifts any dish it is added to, leaving out the bitterness that often comes with fresh citrus zest, making it an ingredient we reach for again and again all year round. Use lemon agrumato on avgolemono and split pea soup, and try blood orange agrumato on pasta e fagioli, red lentil or a roasted beetroot soup with sour cream. 



Tortilla Chips
Move over, croutons! A handful of tortilla chips can be crushed and sprinkled over the top of pozole or used in place of crusty bread for dipping into a Mexican bean soup. No chips on hand? Grab some flatbread or tortillas, tear into pieces or cut into wedges, spread evenly on a large baking sheet, drizzle with plenty of olive oil, dust with smoked paprika and sprinkle of salt, then bake at 180C for 15 minutes, tossing the chips at the halfway point.

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
If these crunchy little gems make it from the oven to your bowl of soup, we commend you, because they’re just as good as a snack as they are a soup topping. This roast chickpea recipe is a great base for you to play with and suit to your taste – season the chickpeas simply with flaky salt or vigorously with gunpowder spice like we’ve done in the image above.
Sprinkle the crispy chickpeas on a soup with body so they sit prettily on the surface – like sweet pumpkin, spiced kadhi (soup in image), creamy tomato, or Moroccon carrot. They add a delightful textural contrast and are also high in protein, making your soup even more nourishing.

Fried Capers
Need a crispy topping for your soup but also want to add a bright, briny note? Kill two birds with one stone by frying Lilliput or Tiny Capers in a flavourful extra virgin olive oil. Frying causes the capers to open, with the outer petals (they are unopened flowers remember) becoming brown and crisp. These small, salty, snackable buds are fantastic on potato and leek soup and chowder-style soups like cullen skink.
Thoroughly dry your capers. Heat extra virgin olive oil (or you could try lemon agrumato!) in a saucepan, enough to cover the capers, until shimmering. Add the capers and fry until they begin to open and turn brown. Fry in batches if needed. Remove from the oil, draining on a paper towel, allowing to cool and crisp. Reserve the caper-infused oil for dressing salads, fish crudo, making mayonnaise or - you guessed it – drizzling on soup!


Gunpowder Spice
Also known as milaga podi, gunpowder isn’t actually a spice blend but a southern Indian dry chutney. Crunchy, spicy, and earthy, the toasted lentils and seeds give the gunpowder texture and a nutty flavour, while the chilli and other spices make it wonderfully savoury and moreish. Sprinkle a dash on lentil or spinach soup with a dollop of yoghurt, hearty mulligatawny or a vegan pumpkin and coconut soup.

Spicy Chorizo Pangrattato
This fancy-sounding topping is actually quite simple to make and acts like a savoury confetti that is utterly delicious. Pangrattato, or crispy breadcrumbs, paired with spicy chorizo, adds a hearty, flavourful crunch to brothy beans, Italian wedding soup, creamy cauliflower, or cheddar and broccoli soup.
In a small pan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add finely diced chorizo and gently fry until the sausage has browned and released its spicy red oils. Stir in panko breadcrumbs to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and fragrant; about 5 minutes. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a bowl so that they don’t burn in the pan. Season with salt to taste.

Mountain Pepperberry
Put down that black pepper! Switch it out for this blue-black native berry you’ve probably seen on a few Australian restaurant menus in the last few years. And for good reason. Coveted for its unique fruity aroma, mineral flavour and punchy pepper bite, mountain pepperberry is much more complex than black peppercorns and has a pretty purplish hue when ground. Sprinkle sparingly (it’s surprisingly hot!) on mushroom soup to complement the earthiness, or something creamy like vichyssoise or cauliflower and bacon to boost the savoury character.

We promise these topping ideas will make sure your soups will never be boring again. That extra drizzle, sprinkle or crunchy scattering makes all the difference to how you see your food. Simple sustenance? Or delectable dinner? Get creative, have fun, and let your soup shine!

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