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How to Make a Soup Topping Garnish

We personal chefs often have some fun presentation tricks up our sleeves, too. I know I’ve waxed poetic about my food rings and have shown you how to make a stacked salad with them. But it’s equally fun to make a soup garnish.

How to Make a Soup Topping Garnish

First, give your food ring a quick spray with cooking spray and place it in one of your serving bowls. Then slice your avocado in half, remove the pulp with a spoon and place cut-side down on a cutting board. Slice very thinly, then place the slices around your food ring like this:

food rings

Next, fill the food ring with diced vegetables (try to use the same ones that are in your soup). Fill it just about halfway so you don’t put too much stress on the avocado slices. I filled mine a bit more than that but you get the idea:

food presentation tips

Now carefully lift your food ring straight up! Then slowly pour your soup around your garnish and serve!

gazpacho recipe

You can, of course, do this with any number of soups. Just be sure to make your garnish the same as what’s in the soup (or something that complements it). I wouldn’t freeze the garnish, but you can freeze the soup ahead of time, thaw it and make your garnish at the last minute. Makes for an easy dinner party or just a special family night. The soup in the picture was a surprise for Katie when she got home from Kindergarten last week. Her little eyes just lit up when she saw how pretty her lunch was!

More Soup Topping Ideas

Adding soup toppings not only adds a “wow” factor, but it can also add a touch of flavor that can take your soup recipe over-the-top.

Fresh Herbs

Whether soup is clear, thick, hot or cold, herb toppings can be used to enhance cooling, woody, spicy, sweetish, bitter, pungent, floral, fruity, nutty, or hot flavors or scents for your favorite kinds of soup. Mint, Lavender, sage, cilantro, and coriander are some of the more popular herbs to try.

Fresh & Roasted Vegetables

Use veggies as a topping on soups to reveal what vegetables are in the soup.

Crunchy Toppings

For a textured soup top it off with croutons, parmesan soups, crumbled bacon, or toasted nuts or pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Adding tortilla chips to soup adds some crunch and makes it all dressed up.


Add shaved, crumbled or grated cheese, such as Parmesan, feta, or Pecorino.

Soup Topping Design Styles


Sprinkling herbs, spices, cheese shavings and lemon or lime zest is simple way to enhance the flavor and presentation.

Roasted cauliflower soup in rustic black bowl, with crusty sourdough toast.

Dollops & Swirls

Add dollop of sour cream or a swirl of plain yogurt or crème fraiche to sass up your soup.

Don’t limit yourself to just one option. Experiment with different presentations and toppings.

Soups Recipes to Try with a Topping

Kristy Bernardo
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