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Soup’s on: Fall LTOs to warm up menus

Variety of soups
Photograph courtesy of Blount Fine Foods

When the weather cools down, many consumers rejoice at the return of “soup season”—and for good reason. With nearly endless varieties to choose from, it’s no surprise that soup is a menu mainstay. To keep things interesting, operators should consider offering seasonal soup LTOs—offerings that incorporate the flavors of fall and winter—to entice diners.

Consumers love seasonal specialties—pumpkin spice has infiltrated virtually every corner of the food industry, apple picking is something many look forward to and holiday gatherings with an emphasis on food abound during fall and winter. For operators looking to offer seasonal soup LTOs, consider offering trending varieties, trending ingredients as toppings and more.

Take these ideas for inspiration:

Warm from the hearth

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup combines warm flavors from butternut squash, red apples, rosemary and more combine to deliver a comforting cup or bowl that customers will look forward to long after it’s gone. Offer toppings such as pepitas, focaccia croutons, frizzled sage and more. Alternatively, ladle up owls of Organic Savory Harvest Bisque, a soup made with sweet butternut squash and carrots, plus apples, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet potatoes and rosemary.

Creamy and customizable

Baked Potato Soup offers diners a rich and indulgent option to enjoy, and toppings options range from the familiar (think shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions) to the gourmet (crisped prosciutto and green peas) and beyond. Consider offering baked potato soup or Potato, Roasted Garlic & Leek Soup with different combinations of toppings as a fall or winter LTO.

Speed-scratch signatures

By adding a few ingredients, condiments or spices, operators can take a prepared soup to the next level and offer it as a limited-time, signature menu item. According to Technomic’s Winter 2019 Season’s Eatings report, mentions of kale in entrees has increased 4.5% over two years, so adding sauteed greens such as curly or Lacinato kale to Fire Roasted Vegetable Soup can increase the appeal.

Likewise, mushrooms are a trending ingredient in fall 2019, according to Technomic’s Fall 2019 Season’s Eatings report, so operators can consider offering Wild Mushroom Bisque—with a swirl of crème fraiche or sprinkle of grated parmesan—to draw in diners who want something seasonal.

This post is sponsored by Blount Fine Foods

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