14 Easy Soup Toppings to Brighten Any Bowl

Get some delicious ideas to sass up your soups.

4 Soup Garnishes photo by Vanessa Greaves
Photo: Vanessa Greaves

You can instantly turn the most plain-Jane soups into mini-masterpieces when you embellish them with a little something extra for flavor, crunch, and eye appeal. Try these easy soup toppings ideas to upgrade your next bowlful.

4 Easy Soup Toppings

These soup toppings are quick enough to make while the soup heats up and are guaranteed to add a whole new dimension to every mouthful.

1. Garlic Butter Croutons

Sauté minced garlic in butter over medium-low heat for one minute. Add bread cubes. Cook and stir until toasted, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Variations: Add rosemary, thyme, or oregano.

2. Parmesan Crisps

Place tablespoon-size mounds of grated Parmesan cheese 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool to firm up before removing. Get step-by-step tips.

Variations: Add minced herbs to the cheese before baking.

3. Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Stars

Use mini cookie cutters to cut shapes out of flour or corn tortillas. Toss with oil or butter and cinnamon sugar and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Variations: Go savory with cumin or smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

4. Toasted Sweet Potato Strips

Use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips. Toss with oil or butter, and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until lightly crunchy.

Variations: Season with cayenne, curry powder, or cinnamon sugar.

10 More Quick Ideas for Great Soup Toppings and Garnishes

a low angle, close-up view of a single bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with shredded cheese, crispy tortilla strips, and slices of avocado.
Dotdash Meredith Food Studios
  • Matchstick apple slices tossed with lemon juice
  • Sage leaves fried in brown butter
  • Slivered garlic fried in oil until lightly brown and crisp
  • Sliced and fried shallots
  • Baked kale, beet, or carrot chips
  • Minced herbs (whichever kind you used in cooking the soup)
  • A little grated ginger, finely chopped orange zest, or a dash of curry powder mixed with sour cream
  • A dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt to tone down the fire in spicy soups
  • A spoonful of salsa or chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions, or cucumbers
  • A dusting of finely grated hard cheese such as Parmesan, Romano, or Emmenthaler to add lots of flavor but not much fat

In Case You Have More Time

Chef John totally ups the soup toppings game with this crunchy, herby, bacon-y twist on Italian gremolata over velvety homemade cauliflower soup. We're talking about a serious bowl of yum sprinkled with magic.

Get the recipe for Chef John's Cream of Cauliflower Soup With Bacon Gremolata.

Dive into our entire collection of soup recipes.

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