How to transform familiar dishes with soups

Photograph: Shutterstock

When the weather cools down, consumers look for foods that will warm them up—it’s the arrival of “soup season.” In fact, 61% of consumers say they are more likely to order soup when it’s cold outside, according to Technomic’s 2018 Soup and Salad Consumer Trend Report.

For noncommercial foodservice operators, though, there’s untapped opportunity: By using soups, familiar favorites can easily be turned into savory signatures that consumers come back for again and again.

According to Technomic’s recent Flavor Consumer Trend Report, a majority of consumers—65%—say they like trying new flavors from time to time. For those consumers, offering twists on familiar favorites is a great way to keep them interested in the menu.

Here are a few ways to put a new spin on favorite dishes by making small tweaks with soup:

  • Add an ethnic twist: Tomato soup is a classic soup that makes it easy for operators to get creative. Try adding harissa, a spicy North African condiment, in dishes with tomato soup, such as a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, with lentils as a base, harissa-and-tomato-soup sauce and whopped potatoes as the topping. Tomato soup can also be used in enchilada sauce to pour over pulled chicken or cheese enchiladas. 
  • Slim things down: On the flip side, many diners may be looking for healthier options to nosh on. For example, making Green Bean Casserole for holiday meals, but swapping in Campbell's Healthy Request Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup instead of standard condensed soups can cut the calories and sodium in a dish.
  • Blend in more seasonal flavor: With fall foods hitting menus, some diners might be curious to try something new alongside their favorite flavors. For instance, instead of serving creamed spinach alongside roasted turkey breast, consider making Creamed Spinach-Stuffed Turkey Breast, using Campbells Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup for a unique spin on classic flavors.

Giving comfort foods a unique twist is easy as can be with soups. Mixed into sauces, used to lower the fat or sodium content and in unique iterations of favorite meals, soups from Campbell's provide the perfect opportunity for operators to make something diners will look forward to at their next meal.

This post is sponsored by Campbell's Foodservice