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What to Serve with Soup

If you’re wondering what to serve with soup, my advice is to choose what you like. We enjoy having bread or crackers and sometimes a salad with any type of soup. There are many other possibilities as well, and they’re all good.

3 different kinds of soup

Soup is a great option when you want a delicious comfort food. In fact, we have it year-round when we want something satisfying to eat.

Whether you choose tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, cream of mushroom soup, or homemade vegetable soup, it’s a delicious lunch or great dish to have for dinner. 

It’s easy to make most homemade soups. However, when you’re in a pinch, you can open a can. Sometimes we eat it as-is, but other times, we add other ingredients to take the flavor up a notch.

Soup as a Main Course

A lot of people think of soup as an appetizer or first course of a meal. However, during certain times of year or when I need a bowl or cup of comfort, I often turn to some type of soup.

One of the best things about soup is that it can be the main course of a complete meal or the first course. Or it can stand completely alone.

When I’m looking for a main course, I typically turn to a hearty soup like this delicious homemade bean soup. Another good one is this taco soup that you can make as spicy or mild as you want.

I enjoy butternut squash soup as a first course or with a sandwich.

Soup Add-Ons

Serve soup alone or options for add-ons. Here are some of our favorite things to add to the soup, upping the flavor and making our taste buds very happy:

Sour cream – perfect for any flavor of soup that’s spicy or acidic.

container of sour cream

Tortilla chips or strips – delicious way to turn taco soup or even tomato soup into tortilla soup.

Saltine crackers – yummy to munch on the side but absolutely delightful to crumble them into the soup.


Shredded cheese – either cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese for amazing flavor.

Mozzarella cheese – melted on top of French onion soup for gooey deliciousness. So yum!

Bacon bits – perfect when you love bacon … and who doesn’t love bacon, right?

Red pepper flakes – a little heat for those who love spicy flavors.

Lemon juice – for a yummy, tart taste sensation, perfect for chicken soup or chowder.

Cilantro – wonderful with your favorite south-of-the-border soup.

taco soup with cilantro

Garlic powder – perfect for any soup that needs a little extra flavor. You can also use onion powder or whatever spice you have in your cabinet.

If you think something would be good in your soup, give it a try. I like to test new flavor combinations and different ways of enjoying soup in small amounts. 

If you like it, add it to your list of favorites. Whatever combination you come up with becomes your own recipe that you can share with others or keep to yourself.

The best part about this is discovering something new. You never know … it might become your absolute favorite way to enjoy one of the best comfort foods ever.

Best Sides for Soup

Make a big pot of homemade soup and serve it with whatever sides you want. All of these soup side dishes give you the perfect combination for a hearty meal. Here are some of our favorites:

Simple salad – chopped lettuce and tomatoes or arugula salad with this homemade thousand island, hot bacon dressing, delicious honey mustard dressing, or yummy and creamy homemade ranch dressing.

Garlic bread – perfect for dipping and a great way to enjoy a big bowl of soup.

Soft pretzels (or crunchy pretzels) – seasoned, salted, or unsalted, depending on how you like them.

Cloud bread – super light and yummy bread alternative that’s gluten-free.

cloud bread and butter

Dinner rolls – for a traditional but delicious meal.

Buttery biscuits – easy to make and so yummy to eat!

Cornbread – full of texture to add balance to any soup.

pan and plate of southern style cornbread

French fries or super easy waffle fries – biggest decision is whether to dip or not to dip. 

Summer Sausage Platter – Kick your meal into high gear by offering a platter filled with summer sausage and all kinds of other savory treats!

Substantial Dishes to Serve with Soup

You don’t have to stick to the traditional soup and sandwich or soup and salad combination. If you’re really hungry or you’re feeding a lot of people with hearty appetites, pick some substantial side dishes to satisfy everyone.

Here are some hearty foods you can serve with whatever type of soup you have:

Chicken legs or crispy crunchy chicken thighs – easy food that you can fry in a skillet, roast, or air fry.

Sandwich – egg salad, roast beef, or chicken salad—all perfect to accompany a bowl of hot soup.

egg salad in a bowl

What Side Dishes Go with Soup?

When you’re serving soup as the main course, you’ll still probably want to add some side dishes. Choose whatever you like, whether it’s a salad, vegetable, or even appetizer.

Protein-packed salad – like this deliciously filling chickpea salad.

Ham and cheese roll-ups – easy to make by rolling thinly sliced ham around long, thin cheese strips.

Bacon wrapped jalapeños – for an explosion of flavor in every single bite.

bowls of soup with bread and other sides

How to Choose What to Serve with Soup

First of all, keep in mind that you should eat your soup any way you want. But I like to keep certain things in mind when I’m making soup for the family or friends.

When it’s cold outside, I like to make a hearty soup, like this filling and delicious creamy potato soup. Somehow, it warms you from the inside out. Served with a sandwich or a salad and some crusty bread, this becomes a filling meal.

soup and sandwich with waffle fries

There are also some classic soup combinations that are too perfect to mess with, like tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Soup doesn’t have to be hot. In fact, there are so many types of soup that you can enjoy cold. One of my favorites is a chilled tomato basil soup. Enjoy the cool flavors with cheese, crackers, and fresh fruit.

Please feel free to share!