You only have one chance at a first impression. Here are some of the finest garnishing and creative enhancements culinarians might choose for soup presentation.
Garnishing and Presentation
Add drama to soups through offering creative presentations, themes and customization.
Presentation: Carefully serve soup in martini glasses or other distinctive tableware, or ladle tableside and top with fresh garnish.
Customize: Soup becomes a destination with exhibition cooking. Allow consumers to choose from a variety of soups, and then customize their selection by preparing flame-sautéed or grilled ingredients tableside.
Combine: Pour two different colors of thick soups side by side in front of patrons and swirl them together with a thin knife or skewer tip.
Stir Fry: Stir-fry vegetables and meat in front of consumers, serve into a large Asian bowl and fill with a complementary broth-based soup.
Garnishing is a simple way to make soups feel fresher and more delicious while adding to the dish’s perceived value. Here are some garnishing suggestions for various soup types:
Beef Pot Roast: Add texture with sautéed garlic chips, crouton lardons, creamy aioli or horseradish. Sprinkle with minced thyme and marjoram for extra flavor.
Broccoli Cheddar: Go for the green with broccoli florets, green onions or chives. Add indulgence with sharp Cheddar cheese crisps.
Buffalo Style Chicken: Top with sour cream and minced chives. Or make it hearty with sliced chicken tenders, hot sauce and blue cheese crumbles.
Chicken Corn Chowder: Amp up the color contrast with diced red pepper, fresh corn kernels, or chopped chives.
Chicken Tortilla: Up the authenticity with tortilla strips, sour cream, queso fresco, or avocado.
Chicken Noodle: Garnish with chopped parsley or a parsley sprig for a pop of flavor and color. Add rotisserie pulled chicken or fried noodles for culinary flair.
Butternut Squash: Amp up the flavor with toasted pumpkin seeds, butternut squash frites and a dollop of crème fraîche.
Beef Chili with Beans: Balance the spice with sour cream or shredded Cheddar. Brighten the bowl with scallions, green onions or chives.
Loaded Baked Potato: Re-load with Cheddar, sour cream, bacon, green onions, chives or waffled fries.
Southwestern Vegetarian Chili: Top with fresh avocado and tortilla strips, sour cream and minced cilantro for authentic flavor.
Tomato Bisque: Add indulgence with sour cream, tomato concasse, or fried basil.
Vegetable: Add freshness with julienned carrots, diced smoked or sautéed tomatoes, and roasted red peppers in balsamic syrup.
Seafood Soup Presentation
With seafood soup, authenticity is everything. This presentation guide helps chefs serve soups even locals would be proud to call their own.
New England Clam Chowder: Oyster crackers, lemon and a side of OLD BAY® or hot sauce will make for a perfect presentation of this classic soup.
Lobster Bisque: Go decadent with a shot of sherry or a truffle oil drizzle. Garnish with smoked paprika, smoky cheeses and/or croutons.
Crab Bisque: Adding more crabmeat is always a winning option, but you can also top with a shot of sherry or a drizzle of oil. Maybe even truffle oil if you’re feeling decadent. Other nice additions are crumbled bacon and avocado.
Crab & Sweet Corn Chowder: This is a spicier soup, so consider adding even more heat with some hot sauce or sriracha aioli. You can also balance out the heat with some OLD BAY® spiced sour cream and a twist of grilled lemon. Fried kale makes a beautiful and tasty garnish.
Red Pepper & Crab Bisque: Melty cheeses, such as smoked provolone, go well in this soup. Think about topping with julienned peppers, veggie relish, cilantro or lime. Or any combination of the previous.
Clam Chowder: Oyster crackers are a famous pairing here, but you can also add chimichurri or a combination of sour cream and hot sauce.
Maryland Style Crab: Anything OLD BAY® spiced goes well in this, but consider some crab claws for a crab overload, croutons, grilled corn, veggie noodles or fried kale.
Manhattan Clam Chowder: Fresh lemon brings out all the flavors of this tomato-based soup. Also, fresh herbs and additional seafood help round out this meal.
Tomato Soup Customizations
Tomato soup is a favorite and to keep things interesting, fun and delicious, customize it with these easy and tasty ideas.
Stir in or top the soup with one or more of the following:
Dairy – shredded or grated cheeses, blue cheese crumbles, sour cream, half and half, or plain yogurt
Crunch – Goldfish crackers, croutons, oyster crackers, cooked rice or pasta, shredded tortillas, or crushed pretzels
Seasoning – Italian seasoning, hot sauce, cinnamon, taco seasoning, maple syrup, lemon juice, or more
Meat – sliced pepperoni, hot dogs or chicken, ground beef, bacon bits, or cooked shrimp
Veggies – sliced avocado, mushrooms, black beans, chopped onion, or Pace salsa
Photos courtesy of Campbell’s Food Service