5 Top Tips For Styling Soup

Minestrone Soup Blog Cover
Tips on Styling Soup
Soups are not particularly difficult or technical to style, and can be a lot of fun. Different prop options, lots of garnishing and accompaniment options, or alternatively a striking minimal composition with only a spoon, soups are perfect for practising your styling skills.

  1. Story-Telling.
    Think about your story and the scene. What is your recipe about ? Is it a thick and hearty soup that shouts nourishing? Or is it a clear broth based soup? Is it going to be a warm and cosy farm house scene appropriate for the heavy soup, or a modern, minimal scene for the lighter soup. This blog post explains more about the storytelling aspect of food styling. Scene you want to create will dictate the rest of your planning from background, to props and garnishes. 
    Top Tip – jump on Pinterest if you need inspiration and create a mood board.
  2. Combo of soups, in pots and bowlsColours.
    A lot of soups are brown or beige in colour. Either play on a monochromatic scene (a tip in my styling brown food free resource) or use a complimentary colour – orange or brown soups in blue containers. Brown soups also pair beautifully with muted tones of pink. An orange colour soup – sweet potato, butternut or pumpkin soup would pair well with touches of blue as a complimentary colour.
    Summery cold soups, or lighter broth based soups might pair with green, or light blue. 

    Top Tip – have a look at the colour wheel and plan your colour combinations. Cucumber soup & beetroot soup
  1. Props.
    The part everyone loves ( myself included) What I love about styling soup is possibility of using different types of containers.  Think about pots, cups, bowls, soup dishes, mugs, glass ramekins and even shot glasses, any type of vessel that is appropriate to your story or recipe.
    Top Tip – shallow bowls work best, if you choose to use a deep bowl or if using a pot, fill with a  false bottom, such as a ramekin, to even half a raw potato.
    Pink Lecruest pot and soup bowls
  2. Presentation.
    Pour your soup into bowls on set using a jug, as opposed to trying to carry bowls  of soup to set.  I don’t have a steady hand and learnt this lesson the hard way. Use a funnel for clear soups to transfer from the jug to the bowl. . If the rim gets mucky clean it with a piece of paper towel or an earbud.  For thick or creamy soups, pull out or even keep a few ingredients separate to garnish with.  Play with levels , a little liquid in the bottom, and fill with coarse ingredients such as the bean & bacon soup below.Noodle soup & creamy bean and bacon
  1. Garnishing
    Garnishing soups can be a lot of fun, as soup has many appropriate accompaniments. Smooth creamy soups can be flat and lack texture and interest. Toppings can elevate appearance with sprinkles, swirls cream or crunchy croutons. Below are some garnishes you could include – 
  • Crunchy stuff garnishes;  croutons, seeds, toasted nuts  and sprinkles, such as zatar or chilli flakes.
  • Cheeses; crumbled feta, parmesan shavings, goats cheese rounds or fried halloumi cubes
  • Oils and drizzles; chilli oil, olive oil, pesto’s or salsas  
  • Something green; herbs – use soft herbs that are edible in their raw state, parsley, basil, coriander , chives, dill or chervil. (avoid woody rosemary and big stalks of thyme) 
  • Swirls; cream, plain yoghurt,  tahini or cashew nut cream ( do this on cool soup to avoid the cream spreading too much)  Use a squeeze bottle to pour cream on top of the soup.
  • TOP TIP – avoid using flavour cues that are not in the correct order in the process of the story, such as cloves of raw garlic with the finished dish.Creamy soup with croutons
    Butternut Soup cover image
Print Friendly, PDF & Email