On restaurant menus, soup is often in the “starters” category, but operators are now going beyond menuing it as a standalone item.
Using soups as an ingredient, sauce or other speed-scratch helper can be an easy, delicious way to create signature dishes. Check out these four tips on how to get more out of soup.
1. Soup as a sauce
Soup as a sauce is a great way to use small portions of prepared soup to elevate existing or new dishes on menus, and it’s an easy way to boost flavor.
For instance, ladling clam chowder over French fries, as Red Lobster does with their new Loaded Seaside Fries dish, creates an indulgent and craveable option that puts soup on display without serving it with a spoon.
Soup as a sauce can also be used on other fish dishes to easily create bold-flavored entrees such as braised grouper topped with Mediterranean-style clam soup or a loaded baked potato topped with clam chili.
2. Soup as a savory ingredient
Soup shines as a savory flavor-booster, so it’s surprising that it’s often underutilized. When used as a cooking liquid for certain foods, for instance, it can easily add a layer of flavor. For example, using clam chili as filling for enchiladas creates a unique and craveable Mexican-inspired dish, while using a Mediterranean-style clam soup in an eggplant parmesan dish updates this Italian favorite.
Some soups can also be used as part of a marinade, mixed into a dressing for salads or used as the poaching liquid for proteins.
3. A speed-scratch helper
Speed scratch is the practice of using prepared items paired with fresh ones to create unique dishes that taste great but save on labor. For instance, soup bases can be combined with a wealth of other ingredients to create scratch-tasting soups.
For instance, adding broccoli and cheddar to prepared clam chowder offers up a twist on this popular comfort food, or chefs can add Key West-style white clam chili to mac and cheese to create a customized pasta entree.
4. Signature dishes
From offering a seafood dish made with a soup-based sauce to serving prepared soups in house-made bread bowls, using soup is a great way to expand a menu and create signature meals that customers come back for. Technomic’s 2018 Soup and Salad report finds that 62% of consumers say that it’s important for soup to satisfy a craving when they order it—creating signature dishes is not only a way to create those cravings, but a way to satisfy them as well.
For instance, Mediterranean clam paella satisfies the craving for flavorful, globally inspired dishes a in a whole new way.
Also, operators can pair soups with a signature sandwich or wrap and enjoy the benefits of offering a signature combo—45% of consumers say they would be likely to purchase a combination meal featuring the two, according to Technomic.
Sea Watch Frozen Soups
When you speak of Sea Watch Frozen Soups, it all starts with clams. The flavor and texture of the sea clam packed with protein, iron, selenium and virtually no fat make it the perfect focal point for a variety of creative soups. The Mediterranean Style Clam soup is like eating the Mediterranean diet in one bowl; it's also great over pasta or fish as a sauce. Clam Chili Key West style is a treat all by itself or it can double as a sauce for seafood enchiladas, seafood nachos or a chili-stuffed baked potato. New England Clam Chowder has remained one the most frequently ordered soups when dining out for decades. It's great on its own, but our chowder can be used as a speed-scratch base for your very own signature chowder without all the hassle. Clam Chowder can be used in bread bowls, clam chowder pizzas, seafood pot pies, bakes fish casserole. Check out more exciting recipes here.
Read about our 4 decades-long journey to be a leader in sustainable seafood. The federal fishery and all of the Sea Watch processing facilities are MSC Certified for sustainability.