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Pureed Soups -- How Do You Make Them More Interesting?

Yesterday I made a roasted root vegetable soup. It was delicious... but BORING. What I mean is that after I pureed it with the immersion blender, every spoonful was like every other spoonful. There was no crunch, no chewing... you know what I mean. I couldn't even bring myself to finish the whole bowl; a cup would have been more than enough. Afterward, I thought maybe some ditalini pasta might have been a good addition. Or pepitas. Or croutons. Or maybe I should have left some of the veggies unblended (but then I would have had to have cut them up differently for roasting).

I've had this same thought before, for example, when I make butternut squash soup. So I'd love to know -- what does everyone else do to add texture and interest to a pureed soup?

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  1. Lardons or pancetta used even sparingly can make soups decadent!
    Try a swirl of pesto or plain yogurt flavored with paprika and a squeeze of lemon.

    1. My husband always makes a delicious pureed asparagus soup for Easter, and he puts a parmesan custard in the middle of each bowl. It is fabulous.

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      1. In my butternut squash soup if I have time I often put a goat cheese crouton. Take a log of goat cheese, cut into slices and freeze on wax paper. When ready to serve, dip frozen circles in egg, then seasoned cornmeal and quickly fry in some oil. Really good!

        2 Replies
        1. re: DGresh

          in our squash soup we add thin slices of fresh granny apple with a dollop of greek yogurt. that adds the crunch and some tang.

          we were at nola in the french quarter a few years back. my friend had a cream of asparagus soup. it was topped with a drizzle of good olive oil and a few crawfish.

          1. re: DGresh

            I've done that on salads, but I'm going to try it next time I make butternut squash soup.

            Some other suggestions-
            fried shallots on split pea soup
            a mini grilled cheese sandwich floating on tomato soup
            parmesan crisps on creamy mushroom soup
            a slice or two of breaded/baked zucchini on a pureed veg/lentil soup

          2. Garnish, garnish, garnish; crunchy things, sauteed or raw diced veggies, pepitas, croutins, strips of fried tortillas, pesto, small pasta, different grains like couscous, farro, or wild rice, a unusual rice like forbidden, cripsy bacon, chorizo or pancetta bits, toasted nuts like walnuts, peanuts, almonds, a mix of fresh chopped herbs, crumbled cheeses, chopped egg, either hard boiled or strips of omelet, popcorn, potato chips, roasted chick peas, crumbled toasted nori, garnishment is seemingly endless. I like popcorn on tomato and apple in butternut to start.

            Don't forget to set some the vegetables in the soup aside for garnish, whole peas, cubes of butternut or apple cubes or butternut, tomato dice, fennel fronds...

            2 Replies
            1. re: bushwickgirl

              +1.

              Definitely save some finely diced veggies for garnish, or toasted nuts, or whatever goes with the basic soup.

              1. With butternut squash soup, I like to add creme fraiche. With split pea, balsamic vinegar makes a big difference. Texturally, I rarely have soup but will add panini or some sandwich, most likely grilled. I can dip, or not.