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The Unexpected Snack That's Perfect As A Soup Topper

assorted soups in bowls
assorted soups in bowls - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

As steam wafts from the bowl, that first spoonful of lusciously creamy soup satisfies. However, while deliciously comforting, even the tastiest soups can lack a key component: texture. To add a little crunchy note to your favorite bowlful, turn to a beloved snack.

Many people enjoy adding oyster crackers, tortilla strips, or crispy pretzels on top of their soup. But in lieu of those classic choices, try popcorn for an unexpected soup topper that adds texture and any flavor you like — from a cheesy note on a hearty tomato soup to a salty-sweet addition to butternut squash soup.

Similar to when you enjoy bread or crackers with soup, the eating experience will change based on the soup's density. Popcorn would float on the surface of a thick, almost puree-like vegetable soup. In contrast, a brothy soup would infuse its way into the popped kernels, softening their crunchy texture. Whether the idea of popcorn on soup is a novelty or curiosity, you'll find that it adds a whole new dimension of flavor to an otherwise simple dish.

Read more: Canned Soups You Should And Shouldn't Buy

How To Pair Popcorn And Soup

Ecuador soup with popcorn
Ecuador soup with popcorn - Ildi Papp/Shutterstock

While topping soup with popcorn takes little more effort than opening a bag, you'll want to put thought into the flavor combination for a composed bite. For example, while movie theater-style popcorn might be a tasty choice for that Friday night flick, the salty, buttery kernels could be too heavy if paired with a rich cream-based soup. Instead, a simple, lightly salted air-popped corn might be a better garnish.

In contrast, a classic tomato bisque could benefit from a salty, cheese-coated popcorn. Similar to a tomato soup and grilled cheese pairing, the popcorn could add an unctuous, toasty note to the tangy soup. Butternut squash soup with coconut popcorn hits the spot for a sweet and savory craving, while kettle corn would also complement the natural sweetness in root veggie soups. From spicy popcorn on potato soup to herby kernels on a lobster bisque, there are plenty of ways to experiment with the corny toppings on your favorite soup recipes.

The Best Way To Combine Soup And Popcorn

soup topped with popcorn and bacon
soup topped with popcorn and bacon - Alphonsine Sabine/Shutterstock

Since added crunch is the main reason to garnish soup with popcorn, it might actually be better to serve the popcorn on the side. In Ecuador, this practice is customary, and you're likely to be served a small dish of popcorn with any bowl of pureed vegetable soup. This allows you to dress every bite with popcorn so the kernels stay crisp, adding a little whimsy to the eating enjoyment. Plus, plating the popcorn on the side means each diner can choose their own adventure, whether they want to just add a few pieces to their soup or fill up their bowl to the brim.

Plus you don't have to stick to just popcorn alone — you could combine it with other crunchy toppings like fried bacon or pancetta, roasted nuts or seeds, or even toasted coconut flakes for the perfect bite. In the end, popcorn on soup can be the perfect way to use up the snacks in your pantry while enjoying an unexpected departure from crackers or bread.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.