3 Crackers Alternatives As Soup Garnish

Like black pepper on eggs or ketchup on french fries, soup is often garnished with oyster crackers or saltines as a way of adding a little something extra. Though subtle, these additions lend a hearty mixture of crunch and saltiness, perfect for chowders, bisques and potages alike. For those looking to expand on this concept, here’s a few substitutions for crackers that’ll add new life to almost any soup:

The leafy option
For the health savvy, replacing crackers with organic greens is a great move. As Craftsy notes, there’s plenty of choices for such greenery, with each suited to a specific soup. Celery and leeks are good for most any variety, and the added texture won’t distract from the soup’s primary flavoring. Lettuce is a similar choice, and the crunchiness can vary between different varieties. For a chowder, try using dill, which adds a flowery undertone that’s also complimentary to the corn and potatoes. Cottage Life, meanwhile, says to opt for simple sprigs of parsley or coriander. The former is a delicate flavor, which won’t overpower like basil, and can even be refreshing to taste buds. Coriander is often described as tasting like lemon or lime, which offers subtlety to meat-centric soups.

Homemade croutons
For something similar to crackers, try adding croutons the next time soup’s on the menu. Opposed to the store-bought variety, homemade croutons are a healthy option without a ton of steps. Just cut up bread into thin slices and then broil with olive oil for two to three minutes. Croutons are great as they can be infused with endless flavors. Though garlic is one popular choice, other tasty options include parmesan and mozzarella cheese, Sriracha, ranch and anything else that’s complimentary to bread. For something slightly fancy, The Kitchen suggests making crostini, or slices of bread affixed with toppings. Essentially little sandwiches, with grilled cheese an especially popular option, these crostini make for a unique take on soup garnishes.

Tortilla strips and chips
When it comes to soups based around meat, be it chicken, fish or beef, tortilla is always a playful option, according to The Nibble. For one thing, tortilla is noteworthy for how it can be used in given soup recipes. The actual strips, or even just crumbled up chips, go great with loads of soups, particularly those with a pronounced Mexican influence (that is, recipes calling for plenty of spices and peppers). Or, tortillas an be layered under chicken soups, which can greatly change the overall interaction of flavors. For added flavor, try dressing tortillas up with savory Monterey jack cheese or even a few drops of hot sauce.

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