6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful (2024)

Soup broth, whether it's right out of a box or spooned from a pot of simmering chicken bones and veggie peels, can be pretty boring on its own. It's light in texture and mouthfeel, and it doesn't typically have much flavor. Yes, it's a step up from water, but broth can be so much more than the weak, watered-down version you typically pour from a cardboard box. Luckily, you can find ways to spruce it up, whether by adding different spices, herbs, and seasonings, or simmering with veggies and proteins.

Plus, stock is a pantry staple you should have at home for meals. A great broth can pair with various cuisines and dishes, as it's a simple and foundational element of many dishes, from ramen to pan sauces. It can also thin down a too-thick sauce or help pasta soak up marinara.

But before you pour whatever stock you happen to have on hand into your favorite creamy soup, you want to make sure it's flavorful enough to be worthy of your final dish. So whether that soup broth is homemade or it's store-bought, a few finishing touches can take that basic broth up a notch or two in terms of taste, heartiness, and even nutrition.

6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful (1)

How to Make Broth More Flavorful

Here are a few simple ways to upgrade soup broth for a tasty, filling, and flavorful finish.

1. Add herbs and spices.

Herbs and spices add aroma, flavor, and intensity to soup broth. "Use fresh or dried basil in tomato-based recipes or fresh parsley to add freshness to clear broth soups," says Sofia Norton, RD. You can also go with more heat and spices. "Ground paprika, turmeric, nutmeg, ground ginger, and other powdered spices add a touch of color and spiciness to broths," she says. As a general rule, use fresh herbs at or near the end of cooking and dried herbs and spices early on. This helps you get the flavors you're looking for in the right balance.

2. Add acidic ingredients.

Foods that have a great deal of acidity, like lemon juice, vinegar, white wine, and tomato puree, can help liven up the flavor of bland-tasting bone and other broths. "The acidity of these ingredients works to complement and enhance the broth's flavors, not mask it. But, make sure to use these ingredients sparingly as you don't want an overpoweringly acidic taste," says Norton. Lemon works well with chicken broth; vinegar is great with beef broths; and white wine is awesome with broths when you are making a sauce.

3. Pack in umami flavor.

"If your broth is lacking in savory richness, try adding roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso. These ingredients add umami flavor and depth to broth," she says. The choice of ingredient depends on the recipe, though. For instance, tomato goes best with beef broth, vegetable broth, and minestrone-type soups, while seaweed, mushrooms, soy sauce, and miso pair perfectly in chicken and fish broths. Onions work well in just about any broth, though!

4. Roast the ingredients first.

"If making homemade broth, it's a good idea to roast meat, bones, and vegetables before adding them to your pot of water. The browning of these ingredients gives depth, savoriness, and color to broths," Norton says. Plus, it's easy to roast all the soup broth components at once. "Do this by arranging all ingredients on a baking sheet or in a Dutch oven and roasting until golden brown," she says. Then scrape and use the brown bits before cooking your broth.

5. Let it evaporate and cook longer.

If you find that your homemade or store-bought broth is thin and bland, you can concentrate its flavors by cooking it a little bit longer." Make sure to remove the lid or tilt it slightly to let the steam escape. Reducing your broth to two-thirds of its original volume should result in two times the flavor," she says.

6. Skim excess fat.

Fat usually makes everything taste better, but too much fat in broth just makes it taste greasy and bland. "If you see a thick layer of fat floating on the surface of your broth, skim it with a spoon. You can also remove fat solids from refrigerated broths," she says. And rule of thumb? When it comes to broths, you really only need a small amount of fat to get a huge amount of flavor.

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6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful (2024)

FAQs

6 Ways to Make Soup Broth More Flavorful? ›

Add aromatics.

Celery, carrots, and onions are standard soup starters, but you can also add fragrant ginger and garlic to a simmering pot of store-bought broth. When deciding whether to add the aromatics in whole parts or finely chopped, keep the final flavors and texture in mind.

How to make soup broth more flavorful? ›

Add aromatics.

Celery, carrots, and onions are standard soup starters, but you can also add fragrant ginger and garlic to a simmering pot of store-bought broth. When deciding whether to add the aromatics in whole parts or finely chopped, keep the final flavors and texture in mind.

What can I add to my soup to make it more flavorful? ›

Go Bold. A punch of flavor at the end of cooking can make your soup a standout. Mix herbs like parsley, thyme, and oregano, or spices such as cumin, coriander, and cardamom, into some olive oil, and let it infuse for at least an hour or two. Pour it over soup just before serving.

What should be added to enrich the flavor of the soup? ›

Herbs and sources add flavor, aroma, and intensity to the soup broth. You can pick fresh or dried herbs like basil for tomato-based soups or fresh parsley for clear broths. You may also add more spices like turmeric, ground ginger, ground paprika, or nutmeg for a touch of spice and color to your soup broth.

How to make bland soup taste better? ›

If a soup is tasting bland in the bowl, consider adding acid rather than salt. A squeeze of lemon or lime, or a dash of yogurt or sour cream can add brightness to the bowl. Our Lemony Chicken Soup will make your mouth water.

How to make vegetable broth more flavorful? ›

Roasting onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and garlic until nicely brown intensifies the broth's flavor and adds color. The roasted vegetables add a rich, satisfying quality to the broth. Second, add tomatoes. Tomatoes add sweetness, color, and umami.

How to intensify flavours? ›

Acidic ingredients help lift and balance flavor. Use small amounts of ingredients with bold flavors such as pomegranate seeds, chipotle pepper or cilantro. Give a flavor burst with condiments such as horseradish, flavored mustard, chutney, wasabi, bean purees, tapenade and salsas of all kinds.

How to make box broth taste better? ›

Throw In Extra Aromatics

The base of most stocks are flavorful aromatics, like onion, carrot, and celery. An easy way to punch up the lackluster flavor of boxed stocks is by adding more of those basics. An onion sliced in half, plus a few chunks of carrots and celery can go a long way in flavoring store-bought stocks.

How can I improve the taste of my soup? ›

Perk up a Bland Soup With Simple Pantry Staples

Add a splash of vinegar (any kind!), or a squeeze of citrus. Chances are, you could use a little more salt. Go ahead—it's ok. Salt perks up flat flavors and helps balance out bitter-tasting ingredients.

How to add more flavor to soup without salt? ›

What seasonings can be used in place of salt that will still add flavor to foods?
  1. Bay leaf.
  2. Cumin.
  3. Curry.
  4. Dill.
  5. Dry mustard.
  6. Green pepper.
  7. Lemon juice.
  8. Marjoram.

What not to put in soup? ›

The Worst Things to Put in Your Soup
  1. By Sara Butler. If there's one good thing about fall and winter, it's soup. ...
  2. Heavy Cream. Heavy cream creates an inviting texture for soups but that's where its positive contributions end. ...
  3. Juice. ...
  4. Turkey Bacon. ...
  5. Cheese. ...
  6. Croutons.

How to make store-bought broth taste better? ›

Throw In Extra Aromatics

The base of most stocks are flavorful aromatics, like onion, carrot, and celery. An easy way to punch up the lackluster flavor of boxed stocks is by adding more of those basics. An onion sliced in half, plus a few chunks of carrots and celery can go a long way in flavoring store-bought stocks.

Can you add anything to bone broth to make it taste better? ›

Adding spices and herbs are easy ways to make your tastiest bone broth while boosting the nutrition at the same time. Dried herbs and spices works well if you're in a pinch. However, nothing beats fresh herbs and spices. Herbs are particularly great if you are fasting with bone broth.

Why does my broth have no flavor? ›

Letting the broth simmer below boiling with new vegetables for an hour or two can boost the flavor. Taste after an hour and determine if you have made progress. Adding herbs, salt, and pepper can also help. I would recommend waiting to salt your broth until the broth is completely cooked and almost ready to store.

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