There’s no beating soup’s comfort-food credibility. It’s also a menu workhorse, adapting beautifully to seasonality and trending flavors and ingredients. With its fantastic profit potential, it’s worth exploring how to up your soup game, tapping into the plant-forward trend in rich, satisfying ways.
Of course, plant-forward doesn’t exclude meat—a strategic use of chorizo, beef stock or ham bones fortifies soup in mouthwatering ways. And although we’ve seen a lot of innovation in plant-based purées, veg-centric sides and bar bites, soup presents a new opportunity for touting plant-forward builds.
Here are building blocks to develop a modern, plant-forward soup.
Beef, chicken and vegetable stock work well, of course, but consider the following for amped up flavor:
- roasted vegetable stock
- dehydrated vegetable stock
- smoked vegetable stock
Tap That Flavor System
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, leverage popular, proven flavor systems and move them into soup profiles:
- eggplant Parmigiana
- Puerto Rican rice and beans
- Nashville hot cauliflower or carrot
Bean It Up
With consumers embracing hummus and other plant-based purées, soup offers the next frontier of discovery here. Cuisines all over the world have long embraced beans in soup. Explore that, along with textural play, for signature takes:
- purée chickpeas with stock as a thickener
- char black beans, then add to soup
- flavor bean soups with big, global flavors, like harissa or guajillo
With the proliferation of nut milks in both retail and restaurants, consider fortifying your plant-forward soup with a rich, creamy, vegan “milk,” such as:
- almond milk
- walnut milk
- peanut milk
Give soup a modern flourish with a creative, flavor-forward finish:
- popped sorghum
- crumbled savory pie crust
- seasoned and fried chickpeas
This Kale, Kidney Bean & Chorizo Caldo delivers the best of veg-centricity in a familiar soup format.