You have a signature scent, but do you have a signature soup? Within the beautiful world of soup, there’s infinite room to customize. Your favorite bowl might be a light brothy soup spiked with spices like anise and cinnamon, or a hearty stew rilled with tomatoes, noodles, and beans. When it comes to creating your signature dish, choosing the best noodles for soup is just as important as deciding on the flavor profile.
For light soups with fragrant spices, long noodles can enhance the flavor. When you eat ramen or long rice noodles, the twirling and slurping aerates the broth, bringing the aromatic flavors forward. This wouldn’t work as well in a thick soup, where managing long noodles could make things very messy. For hearty broths, look for a short noodle that will fit on your spoon.
The best noodles for soup
Fast-cooking rice noodles are generally made from rice flour and water and are a favorite in soups, salads and stir-fries. Unlike wheat noodles, which get their chewiness from gluten proteins, rice noodles owe their deliciously chewy texture to a naturally occurring substance called amylose. Their thickness can range from skinny vermicelli to thicker, wider varieties, but all rice noodles have a delicate flavor and texture that’s ideal for soaking up flavorful sauces and broths.
Wonderfully springy and delicious, fresh ramen noodles are a true delight. First brought to Japan by Chinese traders in the 19th Century, ramen has since become a national staple, with a seemingly endless variety of ramen dishes and ramen restaurants peppering the nation. This irresistibly customizable dish can contain a range of fillings, however it’s hard to argue that the true star of a good ramen is undeniably its noodles. Our fresh ramen noodles are made by Sun Noodle, with little more than flour, water and salt, and need just a quick bath in boiling water to achieve perfectly chewy texture and hearty flavor.
Ditalini, literally translated to “little fingers,” is a small, tubular pasta commonly found in Italian and Sicilian cuisines. Because of its small size (you can fit a few into a spoon), this pasta is perfect for soups.
Although it resembles a grain like rice or barley (and indeed, its name comes from the Italian for “barley”), delicious orzo is actually a short pasta. Particularly popular in soups, pasta salads or pilafs, orzo is a favorite in Greek and Italian cuisines alike. Orzo noodles soak up a lot of broth, so they can be a great way to thicken soup.
Generally thought to have originated in China (although Arabic and Italian cuisines have laid claim to them, as well), egg noodles are made from flour, egg, and water. The addition of egg to the dough makes the noodles chewier and shinier than regular pasta. Often ribbon-shaped, egg noodles eagerly absorb liquids, so they work well in sauces, casseroles, and soups.
Acini de pepe
These tiny beads of pasta are a perfect way to bulk up meals like Italian wedding soup. They’re even smaller than orzo, and will absorb slightly less broth.
Looking to take your noodle soup to the next level? Learn how to make your own broth from leftover kitchen scraps.