We’re always looking for easy ways to make soup, whether canned, cartoned, or homemade, a little bit more exciting, which is why we keep oyster crackers on hand. It isn’t that our cauldrons of cozy keto soup and tureens of comforting chowder are lacking in flavor, but more so because most soups are begging for a little textural variation. Crunchy, lightly salted oyster crackers sprinkled in our bowl do just that. And we found a way to make them even more of a pinch hitter. Once you realize how easy it is to upgrade them with a toast and seasoning, you’ll never want to eat soup without them again.

If you haven’t had them before, oyster crackers are like little round or hexagonal saltines that you sprinkle into soup. They’re especially popular served with seafood chowder in New England (oyster stew calls for oyster crackers!). When you add them to your bowl, they soak up a little bit of broth but stay crunchy inside.

The flavor is quite plain, which is why toasting them and tossing them with spices makes such a big difference. Simply add a couple tablespoons of butter to a sauté pan and melt it over medium heat, then add your oyster crackers in a single layer and toss until golden. Remove the pan from the heat, and add a shake or two of your favorite seasoning blend. Some of our favorite combos:

  • Za’atar: Pair the Middle Eastern spice blend with tomato soups and creamy butternut bisque.
  •  Old Bay Seasoning: This seafood seasoning goes best with soups like gumbo and chowder.
  • Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Powder, and Dried Basil: The trio of Italian flavors livens up bowls of zuppa Toscana, minestrone, and pasta e fagioli.
  • Dried Dill and Crushed Caraway Seeds: Sprinkle the mix on hot or cold borscht.

You can play around with your favorite flavors. Once the crackers are cool, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. Add them to your soup all week long or snack on them straight from the container — they really are that good!

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