Food industry professionals know that soup is among the most profitable menu options. Still, it is often relegated to appetizer status or tacked onto specials as a side dish. Many chefs miss the opportunity to make soups that stand on their own. With the right restaurant equipment – most notably a double boiler – and a few simple changes to your soup recipes and soup-making technique, you can reap the benefits of this low-cost, high-profit restaurant dish while still offering your customers a satisfying main course.
Hearty Restaurant Soup Recipes
Forget thin, watery appetizers. Serve your clients piping hot, cheesy French onion soup with homemade croutons rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil and herbs. Also consider meaty varieties of soup, like Italian Wedding soup or a traditional goulash. Keep in mind, however, that many restaurant-goers these days are looking for healthy options. Adjust your recipes to include leaner cuts of meat or less fatty cheeses and be liberal with the vegetable content. Add thick noodles or rice to existing standards on your menu. This technique keeps costs low while significantly intensifying the fullness of the soup. You may also wish to get creative with the chef’s knife or mandoline slicer set. Using the same amount of vegetables in larger chunks instead of puree form appeals visually to customers as well and gives a heartier impression.
Soup Menu Trends
More than ever, healthy fare is in style. Fill your soups with unusual combinations of vegetables that fit a certain theme. Express the personal flair of your restaurant by drawing on local specialties. Use vegetables that locals will recognize as favorites and visitors will be excited to try. Employ caution when adding salt. You need to have enough salt to bring out the inherent flavors of your soup without overpowering them. Customers will appreciate the ability to taste the full range of ingredients in a more natural state. At the same time, be bold with your other spices, particularly if you have discovered a surprising but delicious mixture. Fresh herbs give both a healthier appearance and a fuller taste to your soup. Most of all, be careful not to overcook your soup. You want to keep the vibrant colors and valuable vitamins intact, so simmer attentively and resist the temptation to leave it on the flame just a little longer while you take care of something else. A professional-grade double boiler is the key to maintaining the perfect temperature while simmering.
The goal of every professional in the restaurant business should be to increase purchases through methods that benefit the customer. The addition of healthful, low-cost ingredients, presented attractively, can upgrade your soup from a throwaway item that customers are likely to pass over to an entrée which your staff will be proud to recommend.