Have you ever been served a bowl of soup with a drizzle of oil? Floating on the surface of the soup, it’s a fashionable garnish at better restaurants.
But the oil does more than look pretty. It adds a rich dimension of flavor to the soup and creates a more complex aroma. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to go from everyday to gourmet.
OIL DRIZZLE FOR SOUPS
In our book, a drizzle of flavored olive oil elevates a bowl of soup to top tier restaurant level. A tablespoon or less—depending on the size of the bowl—does the trick.
SOME SPECIFIC MATCHES
The double drizzle: pumpkin seed oil and
crème fraîche garnish squash soup. A few
microgreens garnish the center. Photo
courtesy The Grill Room | D.C.
THE DOUBLE DRIZZLE
In a lighter soup you can contrast colored oils: a swirl of one with some contrasting droplets of another.
With a darker soup, you can use a cream-based product—crème fraîche, infused heavy cream, sour cream, yogurt.
You may have natural technique, or you may have to practice to get a nice swirl. Place the oil on a teaspoon and drizzle from the tip. If you want to practice, drizzle inexpensive oil on a plate.
Another technique is to use a squeeze bottle or medicine dropper to create a circle of droplets, or a random pattern. In the top photo above, both swirls and droplets are used.
You can combine both techniques and use a different oil, or balsamic vinegar, for the droplets.
HOW TO DRIZZLE CREAMY GARNISHES
Heavy cream works just fine, but crème fraîche, sour cream and yogurt are too thick to drizzle; they need to be thinned. You can do this with water, milk or cream.
While sour cream and yogurt contribute natural tang, you can add flavor to them, or to crème fraîche or heavy cream. Lemon zest, flavored salt and pepper are some options. You can infuse heavy cream with herbs: crush the herbs and let them sit in the cream for an hour or longer. Strain and discard the herbs.
1. BLEND the crème fraîche, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
2. THIN as needed with water to a drizzle consistency.