Ah, the warming, soothing feeling of cooking up a delicious chicken soup. Few dishes will conjure up thoughts of cozy comfort food like a chicken soup can.
One of the best ways to flavor chicken soups is by using spices. Aside from vegetables, broths, and herbs, spices are vital to get flavor into your soups.
Why Spices Make Chicken Soup Better
Spices are a simple way to improve your chicken soup. They can take a classic recipe from good to mouth-watering; here are some of the reasons they make your chicken soup incredible:
- Better flavor: Spices add a variety of flavors to food, from sweet and spicy to bitter and tangy. They can transform a bland meal into a savory one and make a good meal even better.
- Added aroma: Spices also add an aromatic quality to food, making it more appealing to the senses. Aromas can stimulate the appetite and create a sense of comfort and satisfaction.
- Health benefits: Many spices have health benefits that go beyond just flavor and aroma. For example, turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and ginger can help with digestion. In addition, cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar, and cumin may improve cholesterol levels.
- Versatility: Spices can be used in a variety of different dishes, from soups and stews to baked goods and desserts. They can be used in sweet and savory recipes and mixed and matched to create unique and exciting flavor combinations.
- Cost-effective: Using spices can be a cost-effective way to add flavor to food. A small amount of spice can go a long way.
The Basic Spices For Chicken Soup
The two most basic flavor-enhancing spices for chicken soup are salt and pepper; Salt is an essential ingredient and brings out certain elements’ natural sweetness and savory notes. In addition, salt balances acidity, so if you are making chicken soup with tomato, the salt would harmonize with the impact of the acidic tomato.
Black pepper adds a hint of spice and a warm, earthiness to the soup. Black pepper can also help to balance out the salt.
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The Best Spices For Chicken Soup And Their Benefits
There are so many delicious spices for you to consider when making your homemade chicken soup. Here are some of my favorites and the ones I recommend trying:
- Turmeric: I love the golden glow you get from adding turmeric to foods. Turmeric will not only color your soup, but it will give it a lovely earthy taste. Turmeric is also packed with wellness-giving properties.
- Paprika: this spice often gives the impression of smokiness when it doesn’t taste smoky at all. Adding paprika to your chicken soup will improve its color and provide a more decadent-looking one. In terms of taste, paprika will provide a light earthy flavor.
- Mustard seeds: I love adding a few mustard seeds with my veggies right at the beginning of making my chicken soup. They will begin to pop as you saute your vegetables and bring a lovely soft mustard balance to the soup.
- Cumin seeds: you can add a little ground cumin or cumin seeds (also known as Jeera) to your soup at the beginning when you’re cooking off the vegetables. This spice is very distinctive and will certainly direct the flavor of the overall dish.
- Coriander: ground coriander or coriander seeds are a lovely addition to your chicken soup. They provide a nice burst of flavor and work well alongside herbs like bat leaves, thyme, and parsley.
- Ground ginger and garlic: if you have these in your spice cupboard, play around by adding a little in at the start of the soup. They will both provide a little zing and some lovely savory tones to the chicken soup.
- Garam masala: try taking a curry flavor direction with your chicken soup by cooking in a little garam masala at the start of the process. This will tone beautifully with your chicken.
Which Herbs Can Be Used In Chicken Soup?
Alongside adding spices to chicken soup, another way to pack in lovely layers of flavor is to pop in both fresh and dried herbs.
Dried herbs can be added early in the cooking process, such as when you add your spices.
Here are a few of the best herbs to add to chicken soup:
- Thyme: both regular and lemon thyme go really well with chicken soup. This is a classic combination. Thyme, while relatively “gentle” in flavor, is quite fragrant, and the smell of your thyme-infused soup will wander throughout your home.
- Bay leaves: adding in a single bay leaf to your soup can bring out the flavors of the chicken and vegetables. Bay leaves are quite pungent and therefore a little goes a long way.
- Tarragon: this is a sophisticated herb and can be added in towards the end of the cooking process. Light and fresh, this herb is perfectly paired with chicken.
- Cilantro: if you choose to use spices like cumin and ground coriander, adding fresh cilantro before serving your soup is an easy way to balance the flavors.
- Parsley: parsley is one of those herbs that goes with just about everything. Light and savory, adding dried or fresh parsley to your soup will brighten up the flavor and color.
- Mixed Italian herbs: if you have a bottle of dried Italian herbs in your cupboard, go ahead and add in a few with your vegetables at the beginning or with the broth when you pour it in.
Wrapping It Up
As you see, there are so many options when it comes to adding in spices to your chicken soup. You can add a mixture or just one or two. The use of spices also allows you to direct the flavor direction of the chicken soup you’re making and the style of the soup’s end result.
Enjoy experimenting and coming up with your favorite blend of spices to add to your chicken soup. This practice will undoubtedly elevate your soup.
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