When it comes to flavor and value, canned soups can't be beat. Often, we buy a few cans of different varieties, only to leave them sitting in the pantry for months. In general, canned foods have a bad reputation for being neither fresh nor flavorful. However, once you start seeing canned soup as a blank canvas for exciting new flavors and ingredients, your relationship with this kitchen staple will change.
One of the easiest ways to take canned soup from dull to vibrant is by adding acids. Some of the best cuisines always take into account a balance of flavors in foods. For example, take the beloved taco: Salty meat meets sweet tomatoes, spicy chilies, and a squeeze of sour lime for a flavor-packed experience. Foods like these make our taste buds sing. Acidity can help tone down the saltiness in food, much like lime tones down the saltiness of meat in tacos. Yet, acidity doesn't just tone down salt, it also boosts brightness and enhances the fresh qualities of foods. This concept of adding acids should be applied the next time you open a can of soup.
Read more: 12 Little-Known Facts About Salt
Which Acids Are Suitable For Canned Soup?
Whether added to chicken noodle, split pea, or tomato soup, acids are always useful. Plus, acid can be gathered from a variety of ingredient sources and strategically paired with different soups to complement their flavors. Lemon juice is the most common source of acid to add to soup. It can be squeezed fresh into the soup after heating, so none of its flavor gets lost during the cooking process. Although suitable for all soups, lemon juice brings vibrance to a salty can of chicken noodle soup or can enhance a hardy beef and barley.
Other common pantry staples that can bring acidity to canned soups are vinegar and hot sauce. A small amount of apple cider vinegar makes all the ingredients in a soup bind in harmony, and a drizzle of balsamic adds boundless depth of flavor to a straightforward tomato soup. An even bolder move for canned soup is the addition of hot sauce. Pantry hot sauces, like Tabasco and Cholula, generally have vinegar as an ingredient, so they introduce both acidity and heat. They are best when added to creamy canned soups and chowders such as broccoli cheddar, clam chowder, and corn chowder. The punch of heat from the hot sauce offsets the cream while expanding the soup's range of flavors. Next time you heat a can of soup, add an acidic ingredient and taste the difference.
Read the original article on Mashed.