with Stephanie Bullen
February 21, 2014
When the topic of comfort food comes up, someone is bound to mention soups. There may nothing quite as unifying as soup. This bowl of comfort can unite across diets and cultures. Everyone can find their own perfect soup, from tomato to chicken and lentil to beef.
Savory Spice Shop founder, Mike Johnston, describes tomato soup as being a perfect canvas for spices. The mild, comforting flavor can showcase a range of spices and blends. When cooking with tomatoes, one natural flavor profile is to go Italian. Almost everyone who tries it loves our Cantanzaro Herbs, an Italian herb blend that also features lemon peel and garlic. In addition to tomato based soups, like minestrone, this blend would be great in other Italian inspired soups, like Italian wedding soup. Tomato is also wonderful with fire-roasted, smoky notes. Skip the canned tomatoes and get the same rich flavor by using smoked peppercorns and smoked paprika. Whether you add those flavors to a warm tomato soup or you make a chilled Smoky Gazpacho, the familiar flavor of tomato soup is classic comfort food.
It’s no coincidence that one of my favorite seasonings for soup happens to be one of our best-selling blends: Wash Park All-Purpose Seasoning. This blend is a staple, in large part because of its base of black pepper, sugar, garlic, and salt. Essentially, you can use it anywhere you’d use salt and pepper. For me, it’s the first layer of flavor for my chicken or vegetable soups. While I may add other spices throughout the cooking process, I start with those basic flavors. I sometimes use this blend on the finishing end. A dash on a bowl of potato soup or other creamy soup adds a nice presentation to a classic comfort food and takes the place of a sprinkle of salt or pepper.
Lentil soups, like chicken soups, are a blank page and can highlight almost any flavor you’d like. Many people will agree that there are few things more comforting than a hearty soup or stew. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat lover, add a spicy, hearty flavor to lentils with Chimayo Chorizo Sausage Spice. If you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, explore our wide range of curries including earthy blends like Garam Masala, a flaming hot Ghost Curry Powder, or something a bit more familiar like Vindaloo. While our blends take the guesswork out of seasoning, lentils also provide a great opportunity to explore the straight spices. Cumin is a natural fit with lentils, but you can use just about anything for flavor. Combinations like Smoked hot Spanish paprika (with toasted onion), cubeb berries (with Turkish bay leaves and Mexican oregano), mace (with black garlic and French thyme), and fenugreek leaves (with garlic and fenugreek seeds) could be highlighted in lentil soup.
The aroma of a slow cooked meal is quite possibly the best thing you can smell when coming home after a long day. When it comes to slow cooking and stews, I’m a proponent of using less salt during the cooking, so that the meat doesn’t become too salty. Chunkier rubs are great for slow cooking, as the coarse herbs will soften nicely over a longer cooking time. Bohemian Forest European Style Seasoning has both lavender and mustard, strong and pungent flavors, so start sparingly. This makes a wonderful slow cooker chicken, the leftovers from which would be great for chicken noodle soup! However, with European inspired flavors, it would also be a great twist on a classic beef burgundy or beef stew. Another hearty and savory salt-free blend is our Summit County Seasoning. With a tomato powder and black pepper base, this blend is great for meats. The garlic, onion, and bell pepper rehydrate to add great flavor and the aromatic spices, including fennel and rosemary, round out the blend.
Here at Savory, winter is about love and comfort. Whether you are cooking up a big pot of soup for family and friends or a bowl of soup love just for yourself, we hope this inspires you to add a great new flavor to the cold weather classics.
Here are several of our favorite Savory soup recipes for inspiration: