Are you looking to give your vegetable soup a new zesty flavour?
There are a multitude of herbs and spices that can help transform your ordinary soup recipe into something noteworthy.
In this article, we will discuss 10 must-try herbs and spices that you can easily add to your vegetable soup.
From the sweet notes of rosemary to the hotnotes of red pepper flakes, there is something for everyone.
We will also include additional information such as where they are sourced from, their nutritional benefits, and how to store them properly.
Whether you’re experienced in the kitchen or still learning, by the end of this article you will have all the tips and tricks for making the best tasting vegetable soup with these herbs and spices.
So let’s get cooking.
How Can I Give My Vegetable Soup More Flavor?
Vegetable soup is a popular and nutritious meal choice, packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
It can be as flavorful as it is healthy — especially when you give it a boost with herbs and spices.
Adding herbs and spices to vegetable soup adds unique flavor notes to your favorite recipes—from simple tomato soup to complex East Indian curries.
Here are the ten best herbs for vegetable soup that will enhance the flavors of your next batch:
- Bay Leaves: Adds an aromatic flavor to soups that pairs well with other seasonings like oregano, cumin and thyme. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves before serving.
- Basil: A fragrant herb perfect for brightening up roasted tomato or squash soups, or any Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
- Cilantro: Adds a zesty finish top vegetable soups like minestrone or chili. Try crisp raw cilantro as a garnish for topped for visual flair too.
- Dill: Floral anise notes of dill pair well with other herbs in creamy potato-based soups and traditional Russian borscht recipes.
- Garlic Powder: The ultimate all-purpose seasoning can give almost any vegetable soup a savory kick (just don’t overdo it).
- Marjoram: A milder sister of oregano that is equally as flavorful in its own right – gives soups like mushroom barley an herbal depth without overpowering other ingredients.
- Nutmeg: A few freshly-grated nutmeg gives savory root vegetable soup extra depth of taste without weighing it down; try using freshly ground nutmeg to really take your soup up a level.
- Oregano: This classic Italian seasoning takes bland soups from blah to breathtaking (especially those from regions near the Mediterranean Sea.).
- Paprika: A sprinkle (or two) can add warmth but sweetnessand layer complex flavors together. Truly works best when used sparingly rather than overly relying on its smoky spice properties.
- Rosemary: A perennial herb from the mint family – gives rich flavor to both clear broths and heartier stews alike – use fresh sprigs for maximum impact.
What are The Elements of Vegetable Soup?
A great vegetable soup starts with flavorful, nutrient-packed ingredients.
For a well-rounded vegetable soup, you need a mix of both herbs and spices.
Herbs, like thyme and parsley, provide flavor while spices, like bay leaves and cayenne pepper, add more spice and heat.
Here are the 10 most popular herbs and spices used in vegetable soup recipes:
- Bay leaves.
- Celery seed.
- Garlic powder or granulated garlic.
- Cayenne pepper or chili powder.
10 Must-Try Herbs and Spices for Vegetable Soup
Good soup depends on good ingredients, and when it comes to vegetable soup, nothing is more crucial than herbs and spices.
With these flavorful ingredients, you can give your soup an extra boost of flavor that will turn an ordinary vegetable soup into something special.
Here are 10 must-try herbs and spices for vegetable soup:
1. Bay Leaves
Bay (laurel) leaves are widely used as a seasoning in soups and vegetable-based dishes.
They have a unique taste, with a slight bitter yet woodsy flavor.
Bay leaves should be kept whole until you are ready to use them, as their flavor becomes more pungent over time.
As bay leaves will remain hard and sharp even after cooking, it is important to remove the leaves from your dish before serving.
They can be added at the beginning of your soup’s cooking time, infusing it with a mild flavor and aroma.
Place the leaf in a piece of cheesecloth, secure it shut with twine or string and add to your soup; then remove the pouch when you’re done cooking.
Thyme is a great addition to vegetable soups — it adds a subtle flavor that compliments and brings out the flavors of many ingredients like mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes.
With a light aroma and peppery flavor, Thyme is most often used in French cuisine.
To maximize the flavor of Thyme in your soup, add it at the beginning of cooking.
The herb’s oils are released as soon as they reach boiling temperatures, and will continue to infuse the soup during its entire cooking time.
If adding it later in the process, consider rubbing the thyme with your hands to release its oils before adding it directly to your soup.
Rosemary is an herb with a sweet, woodsy taste.
It pairs particularly well with onions and potatoes, making it a great addition to many different types of soup.
Rosemary can be found fresh or dried in most grocery stores, but the freshest flavor comes from freshly chopped rosemary leaves.
Try adding 1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary to your vegetable soup and simmering for 10 minutes before serving.
You can also add some freshly chopped rosemary as a garnish when serving the soup.
This herb is a great way to boost the flavor of any vegetable-based soup without having to use additional ingredients like salt or fat.
Sage is a classic, herby spice with a slightly bitter, earthy taste.
It pairs perfectly with other herbs like oregano, basil and thyme and its subtle flavor complements the more strongly seasoned ingredients in any vegetable soup.
Try adding some freshly chopped sage to your mix for an added depth of flavor, or sprinkle dried sage over cooked vegetables for an extra punch of flavor.
The complexity that sage adds to any soup will be sure to please your hungry diners.
Oregano is one of the most versatile herbs you can use in cooking and is known to enhance the flavor of any soup or stew.
It is a member of the mint family and has an intense, slightly bitter taste with a strong aroma.
The leaves are used fresh or dried to add a deep earthy note to vegetable soups and broths.
Oregano has medicinal properties as well – it contains vitamins A, C and K, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper.
Additionally, oregano has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help keep you healthy.
When adding oregano to your soup recipes, use a light hand as its flavor can easily overpower other ingredients if too much is added.
Basil is a fragrant herb related to the mint family and has been used in cooking for thousands of years.
Its flavor is a mix between that of anise and licorice, with a touch of sweetness.
It’s popular in Italian dishes, but can be used to add depth and complexity to any vegetable soup recipe.
Basil brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables, so you won’t need to add as much salt or sugar.
In addition, basil provides kick of flavor without adding calories or fat.
You can either buy fresh basil (add towards the end) or dried basil in your grocery store (add at beginning).
Both forms of basil can take vegetable soup up a notch.
Parsley is probably the world’s most popular herb and is used in many delicacies.
Its flavor adds a freshness to soup that can’t be found elsewhere.
If you’re looking for a way to add some extra life to your vegetable soup, try adding a handful of finely chopped parsley at the end of the cooking process.
Be sure to avoid over-cooking the parsley or it will lose its flavor.
Fresh or dried parsley will work equally well in this recipe.
Dill is a popular herb with a bright, lemony, and slightly bitter flavor uplifting the taste of vegetable soup.
It also has an attractive, feathery texture that serves as garnish and enhances the nutritional value of the dish.
To use fresh dill as a part of your soup, just chop it finely and add it to your vegetables during the last few minutes of simmering.
You could add a tablespoon or two of dried dill towards the beginning if you want stronger flavor.
Use a caution when adding this herb because its strong flavor can easily overpower other ingredients.
Additionally, if using dried ground dill weed to season your soup, only do so at the very end so it doesn’t lose its aroma and taste.
Cumin is a spice that has a strong earthy flavor and is used in many different cuisines, especially those from the Middle East and South America.
Cumin adds an intense warm aroma to food – but use it sparingly.
A little bit goes a long way.
When using cumin in vegetable soup, it’s best to add it towards the end of the cooking process as too much heat can dissipate its flavor.
Alternatively, you can use roasted cumin seeds as a garnish when serving.
Paprika is a red powder made from grinding dried peppers.
It has a sweet, earthy flavor that is sometimes slightly smoky and can range in heat level from mild to spicy.
Paprika is commonly used in Spanish and Eastern European cuisine, as well as soups and stews.
It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy vision, skin, bones and more.
When using paprika in vegetable soup recipes, use about one teaspoon per four servings of soup for best results.
To bring out the flavor of paprika even more, try toasting it before adding to the soup.
We have discussed ten herbs and spices that make for delicious vegetable soup.
From fresh garlic, ginger, and rosemary to rosemary, oregano, and cumin – these ingredients will truly transform your soup.
When considering which herbs and spices to use with this dish, remember that they should both complement and contrast the flavor of the vegetables in the soup.
Lastly, don’t forget to experiment and try different combinations to find what works best for you.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in allowing you to create a comforting bowl of vegetable soup with the perfect blend of herbs and spices.