The 26 Best Herbs For Soups (Recipes, How To Use Them and More) | Your Indoor Herbs and Garden (2023)

Tasty soups are perfect bowls of comfort for rainy days, chilly afternoons, and winter evenings. They’re great fillers for large crowds and better than medications for coughs, runny noses, or fevers.

Whether soup is clear, thick, cold, specialty, or cultural, 26 are the most common herbs used to provide cooling, woody, sweetish, bitter, sulfury, floral, fruity, spicy, pungent, nutty, or hot flavors or scents for your favorite kinds of soup. Below a full list of the most common ones with a recipe for it.

HerbSoup Recipes Examples
1MintPea Mint Soup
2LavenderLavender Soups
3SageSweet Corn Sage Soup
4CilantroCream of Cilantro Soup
5SteviaStevia Soup
6CorianderLemon Coriander Soup
7FennelFennel Soup
8RosemaryRosemary Chicken Noodle Soup
9BasilTomato Basil Soup
10ThymeThyme Soup
11ParsleyParsley Soup
12LemongrassLemongrass Chicken Soup
13ChamomileChayote Chamomile Soup
14OreganoTomato Oregano Soup
15ChivesSpring Chive Soup
16TarragonChicken Tarragon Soup
17MarjoramFresh Marjoram Soup
18Lemon BalmSpinach Lemon Balm Soup
19DillDill Soup
20MyrtleThyme and Lemon Myrtle Sunshine Soup
21ChervilFresh Chervil Soup
23Bay LeavesBay Leaf Beet Soup
24Lemon VerbenaPineapple Chicken Soup with Lemon Verbena
25Winter SavoryCreamy Kohlrabi and Potato Soup With Winter Savory
26CicelyCream Soup with Oyster Mushrooms and Sweet Cicely

Although the simplest definition of soup is the watery, suppable part of any dish, soups are actually works of heart and art. The careful blend of flavors from meats, vegetables, spices, or herbs creates soups that cross cultures, borders, tastes, purposes, and occasions.

Let’s explore how that happens, all right?

8 Great Soups (and The Herbs To Use With It)

For those who traditionally begin with the main ingredient before deciding on the herbs to use, the following list should be useful. When experimenting to discover flavors you like, keep in mind that the following list are recommendations and serve as starting points.

Table 3: Soup and Herbs Combination Guide

Soup TypesRecommended Herbs
1Beef soupsbay leaf, rosemary, mustard, cayenne, oregano, chili, thyme, curry, dill, parsley, ginger, marjoram, paprika, cumin, garlic, onion
2Egg soupsgarlic, basil, dill weed leaves, parsley
3Fish soupsFrench tarragon, dill, allspice, anise, basil, crumbled bay leaf, cayenne, curry, ginger, oregano, paprika, parsley (or savory, sage or fennel), chives, lemon thyme, nutmeg, marjoram
4Lamb soupsBasil, turmeric, cardamom, rosemary, curry, dill, mace, paprika, marjoram, oregano, mint
5Pork soupsOnion, savory, allspice, black pepper, basil, sage, garlic, chives, cardamom, chili, cloves, curry, marjoram, ginger, mustard, paprika, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme,
6Poultry soupsmustard, allspice, tarragon, nutmeg, anise, paprika, bay leaf, pepper, lemongrass, cayenne, ginger, curry, dill, lovage, marjoram, parsley, sage, thyme, savory
7Bean soupsGarlic, onion, nutmeg, chives, parsley, cumin, saffron, curry, turmeric
8Vegetable soupsGarlic, onion, allspice, basil, cinnamon, curry, lovage, marjoram, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, cloves, oregano, celery, rosemary, bay leaf, parsley, pepper, anise, thyme

What Flavors Do Herbs Add In Soups?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, herbs that are heated or crushed to flavor and aroma to a dish are called aromatics. Each herb not only provides unique flavors but also various health benefits. Most spices have a complex flavor combination.

The flavors of herbs are their arsenal

At the same time, the flavors of herbs can change according to what you’ve just eaten, or other dishes that you’re eating at the same time. Here are some rough approximations of herbal flavors that you can use:

  • Cooling flavors: A chilling or ice-like flavor is associated with herbs such as dill, anise, fennel, lemongrass, sweet basil, and spearmint.
  • Woody flavors: Spices that have a slight flavor of wood include cloves, rosemary, cardamom, sichuan peppercorn, Ceylon cinnamon, juniper, and lavender.
  • Sweetish flavors: Various degrees of sweetness can be tasted in nutmeg, fennel, cloves, star anise, caraway, chervil, cinnamon, cardamom, savory. and dill.
  • Bitter flavors: The bitter bite in soups can be created with herbs such as celery, clove, juniper, lavender, oregano, marjoram, thyme, and turmeric.
  • Sulfury flavors: Some herbs with slightly sulfur scent rather than flavor include garlic, chives, and onion.
  • Floral (flowery) flavors: The flavors of spring, tea, and fruits are often found in herbs such as lavender, thyme, saffron, sweet basil, rose petals, coriander, and lemongrass.
  • Spicy flavors: Herbs with flavors that can be described as spicy include chili, nutmeg, coriander, bay leaf, cassia cinnamon, marjoram, ginger, curry leaf, cloves, cumin, and bay leaf.
  • Pungent flavors: Herbs with strong scents and flavors include garlic, onion, horseradish, ginger, anise, marjoram, mustard, paprika, anise, wasabi, dill seeds, and spearmint.
  • Piney flavors: Herbs that evoke the smell of pine trees include thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.
  • Nutty flavors: Herbs that we can associate with the flavor of peanuts and almonds are often seeds such as cumin, coriander, sesame, poppy, mustard, fenugreek, and black cardamom.
  • Hot flavors: Herbs that taste like fire or heat include chili peppers, black pepper, white pepper, wasabi, ginger, and mustard, to mention a few.

The Best Herbs To Use In Soup Recipes

Here’s an alphabetical table of herbs for those who need a quick reference:

Table 1: 34 Herbs and Their Flavors

1Basilliquorice and cloves, sweetish, similar to aniseed
2Bay leafwoodsy
3Carawaysimilar to anise
4Cayenne peppersweet heat
5Chervilmore subtle than onion, similar to tarragon
6Chivessimilar to but subtler than onion
7Cilantrofresh, herbaceous, pungent
8Corianderearthy, lemony, light and sweetish citrussy
9Cuminsmoky, earthy
10Curry leavessimilar flavor as curry
11Dillfeathery light, sweetish, tangy, or pungent
12Fennel seedlicorice, sweetish
13Fenugreekburn sugar, bitter
14Gingerzesty, spicy
15Gochugaruslightly smoky, sweet, hot
16Grains of paradisea mix of black pepper, citrus, and cardamom
17Loomi (black lime)sour
18Lovagea mix of parsley and celery
19Macelike nutmeg but subtler and more delicate
20Mahlabnutte, slightly sour
21Marjoramwoodsy, floral, sweeter and milder than oregano
22Mintintensely cool or fresh (spearmint), can be peppery (peppermint)
23Oreganosweetish, lemony, robust/ strong flavor
24Parsleyclean, light, and grassy flavor, slightly bitter-ish
25Peppercornpungent, mild heat
26Rosemarystrong, piney
27Sagestrong flavor like pine, eucalyptus, and lemon combined
28Sorrellemony, slightly sour
29Star anisesweet licorice flavor
30Sumaclemony, zingy
31Summer savorypeppery, green, similar to thyme
32Tarragonstrong anise flavor
33Thymelight lemon, minty, woodsy flavor
34Turmericmild and woodsy

How Do You Use Herbs in Soups?

The 26 Best Herbs For Soups (Recipes, How To Use Them and More) | Your Indoor Herbs and Garden (1)

Herbs are plant parts that can be used to add flavor, color, or thickness to soups. Whether you buy or grow herbs, whether you use them fresh, dried, or powdered, you can use them in different ways.

  • Toppings of herbs such as oregano, parsley, chives, or basil can be added to hot or cold soups, either chopped, minced, sliced, or crushed.
  • Garnishes of herbs are used to add a decorative touch to dishes, but they can also be consumed. Examples are rosemary, parsley, thyme or basil. A sprig or leaf is often enough to garnish.
  • Herb purees are added as thickener or served alongside soup dishes. Examples are pesto (garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, dill, chives) and stir-in-cubes, which are frozen herb purees (usually leaves such as cilantro, parsley, etc) in ice trays.

PRO TIP: Soft herbs (such as parsley, basil, coriander) can be used in raw or uncooked soups but can also be used as garnish or toppings in hot or cold soup.

Herb blends

are pre-mixed combinations of herbs. These can be tied together or wrapped in muslin or cheesecloth for ease of removal before serving. Here are some examples:

Bouquet garni: Tie with a string or wrap in cheesecloth any fresh herbs (e.g., basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, sage, peppercorns). Use to infuse flavor in any soup, stew, or stock. Remove before serving.

Buttered herb: Combine with a stick of unsalted butter or margarine about 3 tablespoons of dried herbs 6 tablespoons fresh herbs, white pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. This can be used to thicken soups.

Carribean herbal blend: This can be used as a marinade or a seasoning for any soup or meat dishes. The blend is a combination of thyme, hot pepper, allspice, cloves, garlic, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Chinese five spice: This blend is spicy with a bit of sweetness: cloves, star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and Sichuan peppers. Use to season soups, stir-fries, or meat before grilling or roasting.

Curry herb blend: You can use different blends such as cumin, green curry, coriander, red curry, turmeric, and red pepper. There are no rules. Use it as a table seasoning or to season vegetable, meat, or poultry soups, stews, and the like.

Fines herbes: This is a blend of delicate herbs (chervil, parsley, fennel, chives, oregano, basil, sage, tarragon, and saffron) that can be used with lighter soups, usually added just before serving or removing from the fire.

Herb coating: Coat fish or meat with a blend of garlic, paprika, peppers (white, black, red), thyme, and oregano. This can be used for making soups and stews.

Herbes de provence: This herb mix includes basil, thyme, lavender, and fennel. This can be used to add a light flavor to any kind of soup.

Italian herbal blend: This is a generic blend of basil, red pepper, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and thyme. Use this to season any kind of soup, stew, even pizza or bread.

Old bay herbal blend: This historic seasoning for all dishes includes cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, celery seed, ginger, bay leaf, mustard, pepper, mace, cloves, and nutmeg.

Poultry seasoning: This is a light blend of herbs such as marjoram, parsley, rosemary and sage. It is used to season poultry soups, but is also used for pork or fish soups and dishes.

Quatre epices (four spice blend): The blend of cloves, pepper, ginger, and nutmeg is perfect for stews and soups but also works with vegetables, pates, and sausages.

Vinegared herb: Heat (don’t boil) a quart of vinegar, let cool, and pour into a bottle or jar. Then, add about 4 ounces of fresh sage, thyme, tarragon or marjoram) Use to flavor any stock, stew, or soup.

PRO TIP: Woody herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, savory) are often too strong for uncooked soups. When using in cooked soups, first gently bruise or crush with your fingers and remove larger pieces before serving. For a stronger taste, chop and add just before removing the dish from the fire.

The 5 Types Of Soups You Must Know

The 26 Best Herbs For Soups (Recipes, How To Use Them and More) | Your Indoor Herbs and Garden (2)

Soup can be a dish by itself, or a part of a dish. Evidence of the oldest hot soup ever served was found in a cave in China dating back to 20,000 B.C. Since then, humans have created soups for its medicinal, religious, and nutritional values.

Did you know that there are thousands of different soup recipes from cultures around the world? To describe these types of soup, we can use five categories: clear, thick, cold, specialty, and ethnic.

1. Clear Soups

Definition: Clear soups are delicate, clear, with no thickeners or solids. To make a clear soup, simmer ingredients in liquid until all flavors are released.

Examples: The simplest versions of clear soups do not have any solids, spices, starch, oil, fats or additional flavorings. In addition, there are clear soups that include solids, such as onion soup and chicken noodle soup. Other examples are:

  • Stock: Broth, bouillon or fumets (fish stock) that can be served as is or used in other dishes.
  • Consomme: A stock soup rich in flavor. Egg whites are used to remove sediments or solids.

Use of herbs: Herbs used to flavor clear soups are removed before serving. For elegant presentation (plating) of soups, herbs may be used as a side garnish. In many cases, however, herbs are often used as toppings such as sliced chives sprinkled over chicken noodle soup. In this case, thin soup is best defined as transparent soup.

Common herbs used: The most common herbs used in clear soups include parsley, leeks, chives, lovage, celery seeds, dill, and chervil, to mention a few. Try out different herb combinations.

The 26 Best Herbs For Soups (Recipes, How To Use Them and More) | Your Indoor Herbs and Garden (3)

2. Thick Soups

Definition: Any soup that uses cream, vegetables, milk, wine, or starch (rice, potato, or taro root flour) to thicken the soup into velvety-like smoothness is called a thick soup. Thick soup is opaque compared to thin soup which is transparent.

Examples: Thick soups can be categorized into seven groups.

  • Bisque: After crushed crustacean shells (crabs, crayfish, langoustine, lobsters, shrimps, etc.) are boiled, strained and removed, the soup is seasoned and thickened. The crustacean meat is served as part of the soup.
  • Chowder: This is a thick soup or stew using either fish or clams and thickened with onions, potatoes, cream or milk, crushed biscuits or crackers, cornstarch slurry, or a roux (flour and fat cooked to thicken soups or sauces).
  • Cream soup: A cream soup can use any meat combinations. Before that, however, the soup itself is created by using stock, cream, milk, butter, salt and lard as well as herbs such as garlic, celery, pepper, and paprika.
  • Potage: The name comes from the French for “food cooked in a pot” and is its simplest definition. To create a potage-type of soup, stew, or porridge, boil any combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, fruits, and/or grains until a slurry or mush is formed. Flavor or season with salt, oil, and available herbs and spices.
  • Puree soup (potages purées): The main ingredient is broth or stock plus a pureed ingredient (meat, fruit, vegetable, etc.). You can use an electric blender, grinder, food press, or sieve until a creamy paste or liquid is created (examples: hummus, applesauce). For extra flavor, add herbs or spices.
  • Stew: Tough meats can be boiled with vegetables, herbs, and spices until the meat becomes tender and the other ingredients turn into gravy. The slow-cooking of meat can include seafood, beef, sausages, poultry, or any combination. Since herbs are thoroughly incorporated, an herb garnish may be used for plating.

How To Make Thick Soup

Thickeners: Aside from those mentioned, you should also know two common soup thickeners:

  • Veloute: The name comes from the French word for “velvety” and is simply a blend of roux and clear stock of chicken, veal or fish. The result is a sauce with butter, cream, fat, and flour. It is used to thicken a soup or a dish.
  • Bechamel: This is like a veloute, except that milk is used instead of clear stock.

Use of herbs: Herbs can be sliced, chopped, or pureed to flavor thick soups. The herbs are not removed before serving the soup. When used as garnish, an herb’s leaf can help identify the soup’s key herbal ingredient.

Common herbs used: The most popular herbs used in thick soups include spinach, watercress, parsley, dill, basil, winter savory, bay leaf, celery, cloves, and marjoram, to mention a few. Feel free to experiment.

3. Cold Soups

Definition: A cold soup can be the cooked or the uncooked type. Any soup that is served chilled or below room temperature is a cold soup. There are at least six types of cold soups.

  • Sweet soups: These are dessert soups made of fruit syrup or fruit purees. Sweet soups can be served as a snack or to end a meal. Examples are:
    • Chè (Vietnam): This is a cold dessert soup with sugar and coconut milk. Varieties include adzuki bean, cassava, durian, mung bean, jackfruit, and taro. Some versions include mint, lemongrass, or ginger.
    • Ginataan (Philippines): This hot or cold sweet soup includes coconut milk, fruits and tapioca pearls. Some recipes call for mint or ginger.
    • Shiruko (Japan): This is a cold bean and mochi soup that can be flavored with mugwort.
  • Semi-sweet soup: These are similar to sweet soups except that they have little or no sugar, and are enhanced with citrus or acidic elements from lemon, lime, or vinegar. Semi-sweet soups are often served as appetizers to start a meal. Example: tomato soup.
  • Savoury soups: Either cooked and raw, these are highly textured soups that are served as appetizers. Examples are gazpacho (a chilled soup made from raw vegetables blended together), consommé, pepper and fennel purée, vichyssoise (a chilled puree of leeks, potatoes, and cream), chilled roasted tomato soup, chilled minted pea purée, and cold curried carrot soup.
  • Fruit-and-vegetable soups: These are cold soups made from a blend of crushed or pureed vegetable and fruits.
  • Cream soups: These are cold soups that begin with a soup base thickened with velouté, béchamel, or a tuber such as potato, turnip, beet, yam, or taro purée.
  • Clear soups – These are cold soups made from a rich broth that is clarified by straining. It can also be thickened gelatin. Example: jellied consommé.

Use of herbs: When served in more formal or elegant settings, cold soups often include a topping or garnish of fresh herbs.

Common herbs used: Many cold soup recipes call for dill, celery, scallion, garlic, onion, shallot, parsley, tarragon, arugula, or ginger.

4 No-Cook Chilled Soups (Weight Loss Recipes)

4. Specialty Soups

This is a category based on personal viewpoint, and not on soup ingredients.

Definition: Any soup that’s made by using unusual ingredients or methods is called a “specialty” soup.

Common herbs used: Here are some of the most common herbs used in specialty soups:

  • Cold cucumber cream soup: onion, garlic, dill, sumac, parsley
  • African peanut soup: chili, chard, curry, parsley, cilantro, garlic, ginger
  • Singapore turtle soup: bell pepper (red or green), packaged herbs
    including chervil, basil, lemon balm, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savoury, and thyme.
  • Louisiana gumbo: chard, kale, collards, mustard, watercress, dandelion, bell pepper, onion, celery
  • Cantonese snake soup: ginger, chrysanthemum, lemongrass, mushroom

5. Cultural or Ethnic Soups

The 26 Best Herbs For Soups (Recipes, How To Use Them and More) | Your Indoor Herbs and Garden (4)

Any soup that’s made with ingredients and cooking methods that are specific to a culture or country is called a cultural or ethnic soup. Again, this grouping is based on origin and not on ingredients.

You can find most of the main ingredients in cookbooks, but if you want to prepare a set of herbs before you start cooking or before you go shopping, ere are some examples:

  • Goulash (Hungary): bay leaves, caraway, garlic, oregano, onion, paprika, black pepper
  • Minestrone (Italy): chard, red onion, sage, garlic, celery, rosemary, paprika, bay leaf, basil, kale, red pepper
  • Soto Ayam (Indonesia): chili, basil, turmeric, lemongrass, lime leaves, cardamom, white pepper, ginger, coriander, candlenuts, bay leaves, garlic, cloves
  • Tom Yam (Thailand): kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, chili, coriander leaf (cilantro), white onions, shallot, cilantro
  • Onion soup (France): onions, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, celery, paprika, black pepper
  • Avgolemono (Greece): dill, bay leaves, parsley, pepper
  • Borscht (Russia, Ukraine): dill, coriander, caraway, parsnips, pepper, thyme, celery, onion, red bell pepper, sorrel, black peppercorn, green onion
  • Gulyas (Hungary): bell pepper (red, yellow), caraway, savory, lovage, juniper
  • Gumbo (Louisiana): chard, kale, mustard, collard, garlic, spinach, onion, watercress or dandelion, bell pepper, celery, parsley
  • Miso soup (Japan): scallions, mitsuba (Japanese herbs), chile (sauce), and optional garnish of parsley, cilantro, or chives
  • Quinoa & peanut soup (Ecuador): cayenne pepper, leek, onion, cloves, red bell pepper, cumin
  • Tortilla soup (Santa Fe): onions, bell pepper, cilantro, chili powder, black pepper, garlic
  • Mulligatawny (South India): ginger, onion, celery, peppercorn, cilantro
  • Pho Bo (Vietnam): star anise, cardamom, coriander, basil, jalapeno chili, cilantro, mint, chervil, marjoram, lovage, dill, shiso (beefsteak plant or Perilla frutescens var. crispa), parsley
  • Caldo Verde (Portugal): kale, black or white pepper, garlic cloves, onion
  • Zuppa di Ceci e Riso (Italy): onion, celery, garlic

Fresh Herbs or Dried Herbs?

When using herbs in soups, keep in mind that dried herbs are generally concentrated than fresh herbs.

  • Fresh herbs: I generally recommend adding fresh herbs as a garnish, about 20 minutes before serving. This will keep the original color.
  • Dried herbs: Dried herbs are more intense (sometimes slightly bitter) compared to fresh herbs. Use dried herbs at the start of cooking a recipe with long cooking time. This will intensify their flavor as well as allow other ingredients to absorb the flavor. The best flavor-retaining dried herbs are woody: rosemary, oregano, thyme, etc.
  • Delicate herbs: Basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, tarragon, and marjoram are examples of delicate herbs that should be added at the end of cooking time. When dried, they provide less flavor than when fresh.
  • Robust herbs: Sage, rosemary, parsley, oregano, and thyme are examples of herbs that should be added at the start of cooking a dish with long cooking time.
  • Substitution: According to Martha Stewart, a tablespoon of fresh herbs is equivalent to about one teaspoon of dried herbs. In other words, for 3 tsp of fresh herb is equivalent to about 1 tsp of dried herb. Add in small increments rather than too much, too soon.

For more check the detailed guide on fresh vs dry herb.

The Top 3 Herbs For Soup

Here are my personal top 3 herbs and the soup I often prepare with them. I grow such herbs both outdoors and indoors (especially in the harsh UK winter) on the windosill of my living room ready to be picked at the first occasion.

Mint – The Pea Soup

This herb is fantastic for its refreshing flavour and can be used in a large variety of soup (including also to make pesto).

Here what you need for 2 people:

  • Olive oil 2 tablespoon
  • 5-6 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Onion
  • 200g green peas
  • 1 cup of Mint and coriander
  • Water
  • Salt, black pepper, sugar

This is an easy recipe that requires most 15 minutes and will give you a soft green vellutata that will brighten up your plate and make everyone happy!

For more check the full recipe below:

Creamed Green Peas Soup Recipe | Easy To Make Healthy Soup | By Teamwork Food

Rosemary – Bean Soup

If you think that beans are just for breakfast (the red ones, if you live in the UK) then definitely not. White beans especially can give an amazing vellutata. This is one of my faovurite dish, especially during the cold January and February months. This is the best time to enjoy such hot and dense soup packed with energy.

Here what you need for 6 people:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1kg of cannellini beans
  • 2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 pinch of red pepper
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 11 teaspoon of Chilly

This is a very easy recipe that requires around 10 minutes.This is because you just need to drop all the ingredients together in the saucepan and no peeling involved. So pretty fast.

For more check the full recipe below:

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

Oregano, Basil and Thyme Lentil Soup

This is a more complex soup but its taste is quite outstanding taste and interesting texture

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon drie oregano, basil and thyme
  • 2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1kg Diced tomato
  • Vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of green lentils
  • Kale

This is a recipe that requires around 10 minutes. Yeah, it does have lots of ingredients but they are (Except the veggie) just to drop in the pot (this is a so called one pot soup, everything is done using one single pot, making my life easy).

For more check the full recipe below:

VERY BEST LENTIL SOUP | vegetarian one-pot lentil soup recipe


Most soup names don’t include herbs (chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup). That’s why this article focuses on herbs that are used in popular soups.

  • Soup: Don’t be intimidated by the different names of soups. If you’re a foodie who doesn’t cook, these names can help you order from a menu. If you love to create dishes, these names introduce you to various ways of creating soups.
  • Using herbs in soup: Herbs can be bruised by hand, crushed or pureed to thicken or add flavor or color to soups, or used as garnish for plating soups.
  • Herbal flavors in soups: Herbs can add different flavors and flavor blends to your soup based on the flavor profile: cooling, woody, sweetish, bitter, sulfury, floral, fruity, spicy, pungent, nutty, or hot.
  • Most popular herbs: While most soups don’t detail the herbs used, this list of most popular herbs list only soups with the herbs in their named titles.
  • Fresh versus dried herbs: Dried herbs are great for out-of-season cooking times, but you’ll need to use more than fresh herbs.
  • Soups that need particular herbs: This article lists particular herbs that have been tested to work well with vegetable soups, meat soups. poultry soups, meat soups, and seafood soups.

Finally, keep in mind that you can start with whatever herbs you’ve got and mix, match, or experiment with whatever meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, or fruits are available. Experiment, and come up with soups in new flavors.

Did I miss any herbal soup or an herb that you use for making soup? Let me know in the about me section. I’d love to hear from you. is part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites like mine to earn advertising fees by promoting good quality products. I may receive a small commission when you buy through links on my website


How to use fresh herbs in soup? ›

They're best when used at the end of cooking, to finish a dish — like adding thyme just before a soup is done or sprinkling ribbons of basil over the top of a pizza. This way the flavors are still fresh and bright when I start serving.

What spices to add to soups? ›

Beef, chicken and turkey soups: allspice, basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, curry powder, dill, garlic, ginger, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, onions, paprika, parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, thyme. Fruit soups: anise, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, rosemary.

What is the best combination of herbs? ›

Some traditional combinations are:
  • basil - with chives, chilli, garlic, oregano.
  • bay - with parsley, thyme, garlic, oregano, marjoram.
  • chilli - with coriander, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mint, oregano.
  • chives - with basil, garlic, tarragon.
  • dill - with chives, garlic, parsley, tarragon.

What makes homemade soup taste good? ›

"Ground paprika, turmeric, nutmeg, ground ginger, and other powdered spices add a touch of color and spiciness to broths," she says. As a general rule, use fresh herbs at or near the end of cooking and dried herbs and spices early on. This helps you get the flavors you're looking for in the right balance.

What are the secrets to flavorful soup? ›

To make sure that every spoonful of soup is richly flavored, with juicy meat and/or tender vegetables, follow these kitchen-tested tips.
  1. Use a Sturdy Pot. ...
  2. Sauté the Aromatics. ...
  3. Start with Good Broth. ...
  4. Cut Vegetables to the Right Size. ...
  5. Stagger the Addition of Vegetables. ...
  6. Keep Liquid at a Simmer. ...
  7. Season Just Before Serving.
Oct 9, 2022

Do you rinse herbs before using? ›

Before you go racing to the garden or farmers market and then put those delicious herbs into your next dish, you should always be washing your fresh herbs before cooking with them. No matter the type of produce you are going to be eating, herbs, fruit, etc., you should always carefully wash it before consumption.

Is it better to use fresh or dried herbs in soup? ›

The rule of thumb is that if you are cooking a dish on the stovetop for more than a few minutes, it's best to use dried herbs. While you can use fresh herbs, after cooking them for 10 minutes or longer, the natural oils that make the herbs taste fresh are released.

How do you get the most flavor out of herbs? ›

To maximize the flavor of your herbs you'll want to chop them as finely as possible. The finer you chop your herbs, the more oils released and the more fragrant the herb will become. Delicate herbs like parsley and cilantro should be chopped right before use as they will lose their aroma quickly.

What makes a perfect soup? ›

To make a good soup, you have to build flavours as you go. Vegetables like onion, garlic, celery and carrots — referred to as 'aromatics' — are part of most soup recipes for this very reason, sautéed in oil or butter as a first step of flavour-making.

What is the most important ingredient in soup? ›

Make Your Own Stock. For clear, brothy soups, stock is your most important ingredient. If you want to make a good soup, you need to use an excellently flavored stock — otherwise, the entire pot could be tasteless. To achieve maximum broth flavor, you can make your own chicken, vegetable, seafood or beef stock.

What can I add to soup that has no flavor? ›

Perk up a Bland Soup With Simple Pantry Staples

Add a splash of vinegar (any kind!), or a squeeze of citrus. Chances are, you could use a little more salt. Go ahead—it's ok. Salt perks up flat flavors and helps balance out bitter-tasting ingredients.

What herbs Cannot be together? ›

Fennel and cilantro: Incredibly competitive, so don't grow these herbs together. Rue, sage and basil: Can all damage each other by inhibiting each other's growth. Dill and lavender: Won't grow well together because dill prefers acidic soil, instead of lavender preferring alkaline soil.

What herbs should you not put together? ›

For example, tansy, catnip, comfrey, horseradish, lemon balm, hops, artemisia, and mint should not be planted together with other herbs because they spread aggressively unless you control them.

What adds depth to soup? ›

Roast the Ingredients Before Making the Soup Broth

You can put all the meat bones and vegetables on a baking sheet and roast them until golden brown. Then, scrape the brown bits and add them to a pot of water. Doing this adds depth, savoriness, and color to broths.

Does soup taste better if you cook it longer? ›

After it's come to a boil and you've turned it down to a simmer, let it cook for awhile. 10 minutes, 15 minutes... whatever you want. Just know the longer you cook it, the more flavor that will come out of the food and into the soup.

What are three qualities of a good soup? ›

  • Proper Consistency. Without the right ingredients and preparation, a soup may have the wrong thickness and consistency. ...
  • Good Flavor. A good soup always has good flavor. ...
  • Ideal Ingredients. A good soup has fresh and correct ingredients. ...
  • Good Texture. The texture of a soup depends on the vegetables and meats in it.

Which is better for making soup broth or stock? ›

Which is better chicken stock or broth? Chicken stock is better than broth because it is more concentrated and has a greater depth of flavor for cooking. Chicken stock is also more versatile and can be used in different recipes. Stock, made from chicken bones and other ingredients, is used to make sauces and soups.

What liquid is added to soup to enhance its flavor? ›

Stocks are flavorful liquids used in the preparation of soups, sauces, and stews, derived by gently simmering various ingredients in water. They are based on meat, poultry, fish, game, or seafood, and flavored with mirepoix, herbs, and spices.

Why does my soup have no flavor? ›

Not Adding Acid

If a soup is tasting bland in the bowl, consider adding acid rather than salt. A squeeze of lemon or lime, or a dash of yogurt or sour cream can add brightness to the bowl. Our Lemony Chicken Soup will make your mouth water.

What should you avoid when buying fresh herbs? ›

Avoid buying herbs that have dark spots or discoloration, or are slimy and soggy. Always do the sniff test when you're buying fresh produce, including herbs. They should smell fresh and pungent. Any sickly sweet, cloying scent can mean the herbs are either bad or going bad.

Why do you dry herbs upside down? ›

Hanging upside down allows the essential oils to flow downward from the stems to the leaves. Herbs with a higher moisture content (basil, tarragon, mint, lemon balm) need to be dried more quickly, so they won't mold.

What happens if you dont wash parsley? ›

So just sprinkling fresh cilantro, parsley and basil on top of your dishes without washing the herbs first could be exposing you to dangerous bacteria.

What herbs should not be dried? ›

Delicate, leafy herbs like parsley, tarragon, and chives are always superior when fresh, and should typically be avoided when dried since they don't add much flavor to a dish. They're also best when raw or cooked for just a few minutes.

Is fresh rosemary better than dried? ›

Why are dried herbs more potent than fresh herbs? Dried herbs have been dried and often crushed, which concentrates their flavor, making them more potent than fresh herbs. Fresh herbs have a higher water content, so they're not as strong. If you're making a swap, use less dried herbs than you would fresh.

How do you add dried herbs to soup? ›

To release flavour, dried herbs are best rehydrated. Add either at the beginning of cooking, or about 20 minutes before the end. Try mixing herbs with 1 tsp of oil and leaving for 10-15 minutes before using in dressings, marinages or sauces.

What's the rarest cooking herb? ›

1 – Saffron

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and can cost an eye watering $500 – $5,000 per pound. The spice comes from the stigma of the saffron crocus flower and it can take up to 75,000 flowers to produce just one pound of spice.

Can you add too much herbs? ›

And you don't want to mix too many herbs (fresh or dried) because they can get lost in a dish and end up being a complete waste of ingredients. Herbs are meant to enhance and add flavor and dimension to a dish, not overpower it or be too subtle. You can combine many dried herbs like basil, oregano and thyme.

Which pepper is the most useful in the kitchen? ›

Black Peppercorns

If you cook at home, you'll find yourself using black pepper a lot, for almost every savory dish.

What goes first in a soup? ›

The aromatics of onions, carrots, and celery get sauteed first followed by the garlic, making them first in the soup. Once the broth goes in, so too do the tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, and bay leaves. Then you add your frozen veggies. Fresh spinach will always go last since it will wilt quickly.

What makes soup thick and creamy? ›

The main ingredients that make a soup or stew thick and creamy are flour and butter. The flour is stirred into the melted butter to create a roux, which is then cooked until it's a light golden brown. This mixture is then added to the soup or stew, which will help to thicken it up.

What is the last thing one must add to prepare the soup? ›

Preparation of soups

Adding spices and other seasonings toward the end of the preparation ensures maximum flavor.

What is the No 1 soup in the world? ›

Especially as Northern Thai cuisine is sometimes overlooked, it's nice to see a dish like khao soi get the spotlight. According to TasteAtlas, khao soi holds the #1 spot, being the best soup in the world, with tom yum in the 12th spot, and tom kha gai following closely in the 13th.

What can I add to soup to make more? ›

10 tasty soup topping ideas
  1. Almonds. Crunchy almonds add texture as well as nutritional value to soup, and if you use a healthy, creamy soup recipe like smooth cauliflower as the base, the contrast of textures will be even more satisfying. ...
  2. Yogurt. ...
  3. Citrus fruit. ...
  4. Nutmeg. ...
  5. Parsley. ...
  6. Wholegrain rice. ...
  7. Seeds. ...
  8. Pesto.
Jan 26, 2016

What can I add to soup to make it creamy? ›

How to Make Soup Creamy (8 Simple Ways)
  1. Add Cream. Alright, let's start with the most obvious one. ...
  2. Add Yogurt. Plain yogurt is another great way to thicken your soup and add an extra dose of creamy goodness. ...
  3. Add Flour or Cornstarch. ...
  4. Add Coconut Milk. ...
  5. Add Stale Bread. ...
  6. Add Ground Nuts. ...
  7. Make a Roux. ...
  8. Puree Vegetables.
Feb 1, 2023

What soup is best when not feeling good? ›

Chicken soup has been a go-to for sickness for generations — and for good reason. It's an easy-to-eat source of vitamins, minerals, calories, and protein, which are nutrients your body may need in larger quantities while you're recovering from an illness ( 1 ).

What gives chicken soup the most flavor? ›

The best spices to use in chicken soup are paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Chicken's salty flavor goes well with herbs like bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and coriander. You can also use marjoram, oregano, or rosemary.

Which herbs grow best indoors? ›

Basil, oregano, mint, chives, sage, rosemary, and thyme are the easiest herbs to grow indoors, whether you have them in the garden already or wish to plant them now.

Who should avoid herbs? ›

Who should avoid herbal medicines?
  • people taking other medicines, including hormonal contraceptives, such as the combined pill.
  • people with serious health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease.
  • people who are going to have surgery.
  • pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • the elderly.

What herbs grow like weeds? ›

Some desirable plants that can spread and become undesirable include borage, amaranth, chamomile, lemon balm and mint varieties. Annual plants can be easily controlled by removing the flowers before they drop seed. Borage, amaranth and chamomile are herbs grown to harvest the leaves and flowers.

What herbs are good for the heart? ›

Incorporating herbs like garlic, fennel, and hawthorn into your diet can have multiple benefits for the heart including lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, preventing clot formation and improving circulation.

What should you not take with blood pressure medicine? ›

Some common types of OTC medicines you may need to avoid include:
  • Decongestants, such as those that contain pseudoephedrine.
  • Pain medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Cold and influenza (flu) medicines. ...
  • Some antacids and other stomach medicines. ...
  • Some natural health products.

What herbs should every kitchen have? ›

But we think this list of 10 essential herbs would supply anyone with a great arsenal for cooking at home.
  • Parsley. If you're still thinking of parsley as a garnish, you're missing out. ...
  • Basil. In the summer months, we use basil more than any other herb. ...
  • Thyme. ...
  • Rosemary. ...
  • Mint. ...
  • Cilantro. ...
  • Chives. ...
  • Oregano.
Jan 25, 2013

What are the three main enemies of herbs and spices? ›

If you remember one thing, remember this: the enemies of your dried herbs and spices are the elements—oxygen, heat, moisture and sunlight.

Can you put multiple herbs together? ›

We often hear people ask us, “Can I plant multiple herbs in one pot?,” and the answer is yes, you can! You can grow as many types of herbs in one container as long as they require the same amount of light, water, and soil nutrition.

Which herb should I add when I am making soups or stock? ›

Bay Leaf: Herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme, bay leaf is a must-have for soups and stews. When cooked with water or broth, it adds an understated bitterness that lifts and lightens heavy soups and stews.

What is a bundle of herbs for soup? ›

The bouquet garni (French for "garnished bouquet"; pronounced [bukɛ ɡaʁni]) is a bundle of herbs usually tied with string and mainly used to prepare soup, stock, casseroles and various stews. The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients and removed prior to consumption.

What flavor does thyme add to soup? ›

Using Thyme

These herb blends are frequently used to flavor meat, stews, and soups. In Mediterranean cuisine, thyme is a popular seasoning for lamb dishes as the slightly floral flavor of thyme lightens the sometimes gamy taste of lamb.

How do you make soup taste richer? ›

7 Easy Ways to Make Any Soup Better
  1. Brown or Sear the Meat.
  2. Roast the the Veggies.
  3. Mix up the Texture.
  4. Use Homemade Stock Whenever Possible.
  5. Put Your Cheese Rinds to Work.
  6. Perk up a Bland Soup With Simple Pantry Staples.
  7. Add Fresh Herbs or Dairy When Serving.
  8. Recipes Pictured.

Is broth or stock better for homemade soup? ›

Yet, if you have a choice between the two, use broth when a dish is largely based on the flavor of the liquid, such as in a broth-based soup. On the other hand, you can use stock when the dish gets plenty of flavor from other ingredients, such as in a stew flavored with the drippings of a roast.

How do you keep spices together in soup? ›

Make a Sachet

You simply wrap the herbs and spices in cheesecloth, then tie it together with kitchen twine. It's as simple as that. Then as your chicken stock cooks or your beef braises, the sachet will perfume flavor throughout the pot. A bouquet garni is a specific herb sachet of parsley, bay leaves, and thyme.

What is it called when you mix herbs together? ›

An herbal blend is a combination of two or more herbs mixed together - like this thyme, rosemary and basil - so you get the same proportion of each herb every time you use the blend. The herbs can be fresh or dried.

What is the number one herb in the world? ›

Turmeric is certainly the most powerful herb on the planet. It is from the ginger family that is primarily grown in India, China and Indonesia. It contains various compounds with medicinal properties. For example, turmeric contains Curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the body's own antioxidant enzymes.

What is the number one spice in the world? ›

A Guide to Pepper: The World's Most Popular Spice.

What are 5 seasoning that can be used for making stock? ›

Standard seasoning includes parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns. Other herbs and spices augment the flavors as desired. Vegetable stocks begin with a mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrots, enhanced by additional vegetables, leeks, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, fennel, and similar ingredients.

Can you use too much thyme? ›

However, always use thyme sparingly. If you use too much or add it too late, the taste can be bitter and dominate the dish. The leaves will typically fall off the sprigs and dissolve during the cooking process, but remember to pick up the stems before serving.

How much thyme to put in soup? ›

Ingredients of Thyme Soup
  1. 4 tablespoon thyme.
  2. 1 1/2 cup onion.
  3. 1 tablespoon butter.
  4. 1 tablespoon all purpose flour.
  5. 4 pinches salt.
  6. 2 pinches black pepper.
  7. 2 cup veg stock.
  8. 1 cup coconut milk.
Apr 3, 2017

What spice tastes most like thyme? ›

Fresh or dried, oregano makes a great thyme substitute. The flavours are very similar, both being in the mint family, and it's an almost imperceptible switch. You can use oregano for thyme in virtually any recipe, no matter what type of cuisine it is.


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