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MUST-TRY Soup Toppings – Garnishes for Hot and Cold Soups

Best Soup Toppings – Ideas to Wow Your Guests will give you some ideas on garnishing your favorite soup recipe and bringing gourmet quality soups onto your table. These soup garnishes will take your dishes to the next level.

If you’re looking for some tasty soups to try, I put together a list of all my favorite soup recipes in one place. You can try these 11 Best Soups with Easy Recipes.

Best Soup Toppings - Garnishes for Hot and Cold Soups - four photos of soups and toppings - Soup Toppers for Carrot soup - red pepper, sour cream, capers, endive - Soup garnish for Mushroom Soup - sautéed mushrooms and thyme Soup garnishes for cabbage soup - fresh cabbage, broccoli, and croutons. Garnishes for soup zucchini - croutons
Best Soup Toppings – Garnishes for Hot and Cold Soups

One of the best ways to turn your soup into a masterpiece is to garnish the bowl with additional flavors. It’s a simple way to take a bowl of soup to the next level with toppings and make your taste buds happy. The right soup toppings can transform any bowl of soup into a work-of-art.

I once worked with a chef that was a master at creating amazing soups and finding the right unique toppings to add the “wow” factor. It not only looks appetizing, but adding a touch of flavor can take your soup recipe over-the-top.

Toppings for Soup - Soup Garnishes - 6 bowls of soup with a variety of soup toppers
Toppings for Soup – Soup Garnishes – 6 Bowls of soup with a Variety of Soup Toppers

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Here are the Best Soup Toppings to Try

1. Fresh and Roasted Vegetables

Use Fresh Vegetables and Roasted Vegetables for Soup Toppings

Minced vegetables like onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, chopped cucumbers, red and green peppers add a colorful finish to the top of your soup.

Roasted peppers, corn, and sun-dried tomatoes are also good soup toppings.

2. Fresh Herbs Soup Garnish

If you read my blog, you know I’m a big herb lover. I grow all of my herbs right outside my front door. They add such wonderful flavor to everything I cook, and I love using them to make tea with.

Chives, dill, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, thyme, and basil are just some of the herbs you can use to top a bowl of piping hot soup. You can fry sage leaves for even more of an exciting finish.

3. Sour cream, Greek yogurt, or Creme Fraiche

A dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt, or creme fraiche tastes fantastic as a topping for thicker soups. Add some of those minced herbs on top, and you’ve got a beautiful bowl of soup.

Soup Toppings - Beer Cheese Soup with Shredded Cheddar Cheese and Scallions
Toppings for Soup – Beer Cheese Soup with Shredded Cheddar Cheese and Scallions

4. Shredded Cheese

A little grated cheese can add the perfect flavor combination to your delicious soup recipes.

The list of types of cheese you can use to top soups is endless. Cheddar cheese, provolone, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Swiss Cheese, goat cheese, and blue cheese would make a great start.

Creamy broccoli soups pairs well with shredded cheddar cheese.

5. Toasts and Homemade Croutons for Soup Garnishes

Toppings for Soup - Croutons and Fresh Basil
Soup Topping Ideas – Croutons and Fresh Basil make the Perfect Garnish

Lightly toasted slices of baguettes brushed with olive oil or butter make a crunchy topping that no one would forget. Toasted sour dough bread is also a good choice.

You can also use cheese croutons as a fast substitute. Oyster crackers are also a popular soup topping.

Toasted crostini with melted Parmesan cheese and a sprig of thyme makes a beautiful topping for soup.

6. Fried Crispy Shallots or Fried Onions

Adding flavorful crunchy toppings to your soups is a wonderful touch and is one of my favorite zesty ideas to dress up a bowl of soup.

7. Seeds or Nuts

Toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, sliced almonds, and macadamia nuts are just some of the best toppings for soup.

8. Sauces or drizzles

Drizzling a design on top of your soup is a creative way to top it off with flair. You can use a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic glaze, or hot sauce are some ways to add extra taste to your soups.

9. Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables get overlooked for soup toppings, but they an added zip to every bowl. Pickled jalapeños, cauliflower, carrots, or even pickled red onions are some unique ideas.

Soup Toppers - Tortilla Soup with Tortilla Chips, Sour Cream, fresh jalapeños, and red pepper flakes
Toppings for Soup – Tortilla Soup with tortilla chips, sour cream, fresh jalapeños, and red pepper flakes

10. Tortilla Chips

Adding tortilla chips to soup is one of my favorite flavorful crunchy toppings. You can also bake your tortilla chips with olive oil and your favorite spices like chili powder.

11. Potato Chips

I’ve been to several restaurants where they added crushed potato chips to the top of a creamy soup for a bit of crunch.

12. Popcorn

This might sound unusual, but adding popcorn to the top of soup is actually a common practice. Catering companies like to top beer cheese soup with popcorn.

13. Lime or Lemon Wedges

Soup Toppings for Lentil Soup - Slice of Lemon and Fresh Parsley
Soup Toppings for Lentil Soup – Slice of Lemon and Fresh Parsley

Lemon juice or lime juice is an excellent way to add refreshing flavor to your favorite soup. A squeeze of lemon can really give your soup a lift. You can also add slices of lemons and limes to the top of thick soups for a beautiful finish.

14. Fruit Slices

Lemons and limes aren’t the only fruits you can use to top your soups. A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice can be the perfect addition to a bowl of soup. Depending on what type of soup you have, fruit can pair well with the right flavors.

Sautéed apple slices would look beautiful on butternut squash soup. Pomegranate seeds would look like jewels on creamy pumpkin soup. Don’t forget about sliced avocado! A fan of avocado slices looks beautiful on top of soup.

15. Micro Greens

Soup Topper Ideas  - Microgreens, Slice of Lime, Pumpkin Seeds
Soup Topping Ideas – Microgreens, Slices of Lime, Pumpkin Seeds

You put micro greens on your sandwiches, but how about adding them to your soups? Pea shoots are especially lovely.

Bacon Bits or Fried Pancetta

Add a decadent touch with some bacon bits or fried pancetta. It will give your soup that crispy, salty flavor that is a favorite of soup eaters. Crunchy soup toppings are a must in my opinion.


Gremolata is a combination of parsley, garlic, and lemon. Italians like to finish soups and stews with the mixture. Let the combination blend flavors together for at least 30 minutes before using.

Other Toppings

Pesto, tapenade, red pepper flakes, chili oil, and Crème fraîche are some more ideas. You could also use caviar to top oyster stew.

Finding the right topping for your soup is part of the fun.

Here are some examples of good soup toppings combinations:

Toppings for Butternut Squash Soup

Toasted Seeds and Nuts for Soup Garnish
Toasted Seeds and Nuts for Soup Toppings

Toasted seeds and nuts make good toppings for butternut squash soup. Creating a wreath pattern like the picture above is a fun way to top off your soup bowl.

Other butternut squash soup toppings are Greek yogurt, fried sage leaves, toasted pecans, blue cheese crumbles, chili oil, and red pepper flakes. You can find more butternut squash soup toppings here.

Toppings for Split Pea Soup

Crumbled bacon, croutons, sour cream, hot sauce, and cooked sausage would work well with this soup.

Miso Soup Toppings

Miso Soup Toppings - Enoki Mushrooms and Scallions
Toppings for Soup – Miso Soup – Enoki Mushrooms and Scallions

Green onions, daikon, dried noodles, leeks, chopped boiled egg, kale, seaweed, and mushrooms are soup topper ideas for miso soup.

Toppings for Potato Soup

Sour cream, crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, minced chives, fried shallots, roasted broccoli, diced tomatoes, and scallions make a tasty addition to potato soup.

Pumpkin Soup Toppings

Pumpkin Soup Topping Ideas - Fresh basil, sour cream, chili oil, sour cream and pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin Soup Topping Ideas – Fresh Basil, sour cream, chili oil, sour cream, and pumpkin seeds

Crumbled cheese like blue cheese, gorgonzola, and feta would make nice toppings for pumpkin soup. Roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, fried sage leaves, roasted pepitas, toasted walnuts or pecans, and parsley are some ideas.

Toppings for White Chicken Chili and Chili

If you haven’t tried white chicken chili, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Not all recipes are created equal, and this one is a keeper.

Taco Soup Toppings

Taco Soup Toppings and Garnishes - Fresh Limes, Sliced Avocado, Fresh Parsley, Tortilla chips
Taco Soup Toppings and Garnishes – Fresh Limes, Sliced Avocado, Fresh Parsley, and Tortilla Chips

Soup topping ideas for taco soup are grated cheese, diced tomatoes, fresh avocado cubes, lime wedges, a squeeze of a lemon wedge, green onions, sour cream or Greek yogurt, corn chips, and crumbled tortilla chips.

Toppings for Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup toppings are creamy avocado, lime wedges, tangy cotija cheese, radish slices, cilantro, fried tortilla strips, sour cream, yogurt, shredded cheese, fresh or pickled jalapeños, chopped red onions, roasted corn, green onions, and hot sauce.

White Bean Soup Toppings

You can add a splash of vinegar to white bean soup, fresh herbs like fresh parsley or chives, and shaved cheese like Parmesan.

Toppings for French Onion Soup

Soup Toppings for French Onion Soup - Fresh Thyme,
Soup Toppings for French Onion Soup – Fresh Thyme, Croute, and Gruyere cheese

French onion soup is traditionally topped with croute and Gruyere cheese. A sprinkling of fresh thyme gives this bowl visual interest.

Toppings for Tomato Soup

I made an entire post dedicated to tomato soup toppings.

Toppings for Cauliflower Soup

Toppings for Soup - Cauliflower Soup with Sautéed Sliced Mushrooms, Olive Oil, and Spices
Toppings for Soup – Cauliflower soup with sautéed sliced mushrooms, olive oil, and spices

Cauliflower soup works well with a variety of soup toppers.

  • Shredded cheese
  • Crispy shallots
  • Chives
  • Bacon
  • Cheese croutons

Carrot Ginger Soup Toppings

This vibrant orange soup is not only tasty, but packed with nutrients. Add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to your carrot soup for a cozy fall-inspired flavor.

  • Crispy bacon bits
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced avocados
  • Fried onions
  • Sliced almonds
  • Toasted bread crumbs
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Fried onions

Soup Garnishes for Corn Chowder

Corn chowder is beautiful to look at alone, but adding colorful garnishes make it even better. A dollop of sour cream with either chopped red pepper, chives, or fresh corn would be an elegant touch.

We’ve reached the end of Creative Soup Toppings. I hope you enjoyed it!

Let me know in the comments below if you tried any of the toppings for soup and how you liked them.

Make sure you join our Creating a Cozy Life Facebook group. You’re not going to believe how amazing it is. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Below I made a pin for Pinterest so you can add this Soup Toppings List to your soup board.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Creative Soup Toppings – Pin for Pinterest

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