3 New Ways To Liven Up That Boring Soup

Yesterday was my first soup-based lunch since the recent temperature drop. It was lame. The experience as a whole was just depressing. There is nothing about that obligatory hunk of bread that makes the soup better. There is nothing admirable about disguising flavorless sustenance with so much heavy cream I had heart palpitations while penning this year's Thanksgiving macaroni and cheese recipe. Let's address this.

I do this with one of the inherently less boring soups: Greek avgolemono. Room temperature stuffed grape leaves act almost like little vegetarian meatballs and make a light soup into a filling meal. Plus, all you had to do was pop open a can. Greek + Greek = less Greek; however it's both logical and delicious, two qualities Greeks are generally on board with.

While we're on the Greek track, I move for replacing heavy cream in a soup recipe with a swirl of Greek yogurt at the end instead. You remember Greek Yogurt Week, don't you? It does absolutely everything heavy cream does with like, 1/8 the fat, a jillion times more protein and tanginess that citrus can't touch. I can't think of a hot soup requiring heavy cream where this doesn't work. For soups with ingredients like lentils or black beans — where yogurt or sour cream is a typical garnish — this is a no-brainer.

Okay enough diet advice. Throw away all the diet advice we've ever given you, go ahead, touch the Cornballer, you know best. This works great for soups associated with cheese and pays homage to the grilled cheese that should always come with your tomato soup. Always. Using sandwich bread, make a grilled cheese tailored to your soup, like gruyère and caramelized onion for French onion soup or cheddar and tomato for creamy broccoli (made creamy with Greek yogurt, obviously). Then float the sandwich on top of the soup, cover with more of the cheese and broil until crisp on top. You just French-onioned your soup and that hunk of bread is livid. Yay for noun-to-verb lunches!

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