How to make canned soup taste better

Maybe you're a couple days tardy for your grocery trip and the lunch options are down to the last-one-picked can of soup. It's lackluster and probably sort of off-putting, but it's the only option, so you pour it into a pot and kick yourself for not getting to the store earlier. This might seem like a pretty bleak situation, but it doesn't have to be. We've got some tricks to fix up your boring canned soup, and instead of begrudgingly spooning it into your mouth, you'll be anxiously anticipating your delicious soup lunch. 

Fresh protein will be your best friend when on a better soup mission. Canned chicken noodle can be super bland and the chicken is probably dry as a bone. Instead, cook a little chicken on the side, dice it up, and stir it in. You can do it with just about any protein depending on what soup you're trying to make edible, and it goes a long way in elevating the experience (via MyRecipes).

Another easy fix for bad soup — or practically any meal, for that matter — is cheese. If you're planning on grilled cheese and canned tomato soup, add some feta on top, or literally any other type of cheese, and it'll be better, guaranteed (via Spoon University).

More ways to improve canned soups

Canned soups have a wildly long shelf life, so it should be no surprise that they can lose a bit of their bite after awhile. A super simple soup fix is adding fresh herbs. Bean soup goes great with thyme or rosemary, and parsley is the ticket to better chicken soup. At the very least add some dry seasonings like cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, or black pepper.

Some added texture can be essential to bettering your bowl. You know that pack of unopened croutons in the back of your cupboard you bought a couple months ago when you told yourself you were going to start eating more salads? Turns out they are a great addition to humdrum soup (via Food & Wine). And if there's a bag of rice sitting in your nearly empty cupboard — or really any grain for that matter — they'll add flavor, texture, and leave you feeling more full (via The Nest).

If you're lucky, you've got some fresh vegetables on hand. If you're a little less lucky, you might spot a frozen bag of peas in your freezer. Add whatever extra produce you've got on hand for some extra flavor, crunch, and freshness (because even if they are frozen, they'll taste fresher than what's in the can).