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Creating signature soups with speed-scratch favorites

Photograph: Shutterstock

Soup is a popular menu item: Nearly 82% of healthcare foodservice facilities offer it, according to Ignite Menu Data. As the weather cools down, patrons may be more likely to order it to help them warm up. For foodservice operators, there’s an opportunity to offer signature options that stand out from the crowd, making their location the place to be for scrumptious soups. Learn more about why foodservice facilities should offer signature soups, and how to do so without breaking the bank.

Why it’s important to offer signature soups

According to Technomic’s 2018 Soup and Salad Consumer Trend Report, 47% of consumers are interested in trying soups with new or unique flavors, and 29% are willing to pay more for soups that feature them. But starting from scratch every time isn’t the answer—this would take a lot of time and labor.

An easier way to offer guests new and unique flavors in soups is with add-ons and mix-ins, condiments and toppings. This way, foodservice directors can use prepared soups and simply add finishing touches to create signature offerings. By menuing unique and exclusive signature soups, foodservice facilities can establish themselves as destinations for craveable favorites.

Speed-scratch inspiration

Speed-scratch cooking—using prepared foods combined with fresh ingredients—gives foodservice directors the chance to offer signature soups without adding a ton of labor to the back of the house. Starting with a prepared soup and stirring in a globally inspired condiment, topping with indulgent cheeses or finishing with unique ingredients means there are endless combinations for creating new favorites.

Global condiments

Tomato soup gets an update when hot sauces such as Sriracha, harissa or gochujang get stirred in. This way, foodservice directors can offer global twists on classic flavors without going too far outside diners’ comfort zones. Other options to consider can include stirring salsa verde into chicken and wild rice soup for a Mexican-inspired option or adding a chutney to lentil soup to jazz things up.

Unique add-ons and craveable toppings

Stirring in unique ingredients and offering premium toppings for soups is another great way to create signature items. For instance, offering mini grilled cheese “croutons” (made from chopped grilled cheese sandwiches) can make classic tomato soup more fun. For potato soup, try offering bacon lardons, scallions and freshly shredded cheddar cheese, or Buffalo chicken and blue cheese for a completely different flavor profile. Offering toppings such as sliced pepperoni, jalapenos and mozzarella can “pizza-fy” broth-based soups such as minestrone, while garlic-sauteed mushrooms can be a delicious topping for soups such as French onion or vegetable beef.

By starting with prepared soups from Campbell’s, foodservice directors can create signature soups that customers come back for again and again—all without needing to order a lot of extra ingredients or increasing labor needs.

This post is sponsored by Campbell's Foodservice

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