By introducing a contrasting flavor or texture, or by bringing a minor ingredient to the forefront, a little garnish does wonders for any kind of soup.
Some soups almost require a garnish, like sour cream in borscht, a Gruyère-topped crouton for French onion, or rouille-spread toasts with bouillabaisse.
For everyday soups,
- Try a sprinkling of freshly minced herbs (whichever kind you used in cooking the soup).
- For curried soups and Mexican-influenced soups, stir lime juice into sour cream or yogurt with a pinch of sugar; spoon onto soup just before serving.
- A little grated ginger, finely chopped orange zest, or a dash of curry powder are also good in a cream topping for curried soups.
- You can, of course, change the flavorings according to the kind of soup you've made; a dollop of cream will also help tone down the fire in spicy soups.
- Toasted bread, unbuttered croutons, crackers, or baked tortilla chips add a satisfying crunch.
- A spoonful of salsa, or a few chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions, or cucumbers add a cool, fresh taste to your soup.
- A dusting of finely grated hard cheese such as Parmesan, Romano, or Emmenthaler, adds lots of flavor but not much fat.