7 ways to make canned soup taste amazing

Stir in these simple extras for a quick, convenient meal that will nourish you and bowl you over.
Published April 2, 2020

Canned soup is wonderful to have on hand. It’s a budget-friendly buy, it boasts a long shelf life, and it’s ready to enjoy in minutes. Make your next bowl even better by stirring in these simple, tasty add-ins. Heat, eat, repeat!

Leafy greens

Whether you’re popping open a can of chicken noodle or tomato, soup can be a great way to use up chopped greens such as baby arugula, kale, and spinach. Incorporate whatever amount you prefer (fresh or frozen), then heat until warmed and wilted. Remember this next time you’re sick of salad!

Cooked veggies

Sure, soup is usually defined by its liquid status. But that doesn’t mean you can’t amp up the solids. Frozen veggies such as peas and corn make nutritious additions and simply need to be heated through. Canned soup also makes a great catch-all for leftover cooked veggies such as diced butternut squash, broccoli florets and diced potato. Throw ’em in!

Lean protein

Level up a simple veggie puree or broth-based soup by adding a source of protein such as canned beans, shredded rotisserie chicken, or sliced precooked turkey sausage. It’ll eat like a meal and help keep you satisfied.

Fresh herbs

No reason to let that giant bouquet of parsley wilt in the fridge. Chop up a handful and scatter it on almost any soup for a fresh flavour hit and a pretty pop of green. Other versatile herbs include thyme, dill, and chives. All good options—fresh or dried!

Something crispy

After ladling soup into a bowl, add textural interest by sprinkling a crunchy element on top. Homemade croutons, a few crumbled tortilla chips, even some pieces of plain popcorn can all add excitement to your bowl. 

Something savoury

Boost the depth of flavour in your favourite canned soup with a sprinkle of freshly grated cheese, a spoonful of capers or chopped olives for briny flavour, or some chopped sun-dried tomato for sweet-tart complexity. Every bite will taste a little more special.

A tart finishing touch

Palate-tickling acid helps other flavours pop. If you’re serving a veggie variety of soup, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice just before serving. If you’re heating up a Mexican- or Asian-style soup, add a squiggle of sriracha or other hot sauce. Balsamic vinegar complements everything from lentil soup to tomato bisque. A simple splash is all it takes.


Leslie Fink, MS, RD, has worked on the WW editorial team for more than 21 years. She plays a key role in food, recipe, and program content, as well as product partnerships and experiences. Leslie helps bring delicious food and meal ideas to WW events, program materials, and more.