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Soup ingredients to go wild and exotic

By Laura Crowley , 07-Jan-2008

Pork belly, watermelon and goji are amongst some of the more unusual soup flavours predicted to be popular in 2008, according to Campbell's Kitchen and Swanson Broth.

Specialists at the global soup companies released their forecasts for the top trends in homemade soups for 2008 in celebration of National Soup Month in the US. According to Campbell's Kitchen, more than 83 per cent of homemade soups start with a broth as a base, making any new flavour trends of interest to broth manufacturers as well as ingredients companies and soup producers. "The trends we are observing today in homemade soup are a microcosm of what is happening across the food industry," said Lucinda Ayers, vice president of Campbell's Kitchen. "The overall trends in flavours, ingredients and techniques play a role in soups too." Swanson Broth put the list together by keeping a close watch on recent soup trends over the winter period when soups appeal more to consumers. Campbell's Kitchen identified 14 flavours it considers will prove successful this year and in American kitchens as well as mainstream restaurants. These were figs, pomegranate, beets, cauliflower, acai, short ribs, blood orange, mango, artichoke, caramelised, coulis, pickled and organic. It also listed 14 top emerging soup flavours and techniques for haute cuisine. These included the fruit ingredients savoury watermelon, grapefruit and goji, and vegetables rhubarb, parsnip and celery. The other ingredients and techniques were pork belly, sunchoke, coconut, emmer wheat known as farro, confit, ceviche candied and wild. Ayers said: "Soup is now more than a lunchtime food and no longer relegated to appetiser status. More and more people are creating a simple but so satisfying meal of a bowl of homemade soup by pairing it with a salad and a fresh loaf of bread." Campbell's Kitchen considers homemade soups to have a renewed interest in kitchens across America due to a general increase in at-home cooking and a desire for fresh ingredients. However, while people become more willing to experiment in the kitchen and these new ingredients gain in popularity, Swanson Broth said the standard for homemade soup continues to be chicken noodle. Meanwhile, ready-made soup sales in the US have slowly increased by nine per cent since 2002 according to a Mintel report released last March.

Soup sales in Europe have experienced more rapid growth, increasing 41 per cent between 2002 and 2007, according to Datamonitor.

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