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The 7 Best Similar Substitutes for Sherry in Soup

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The best similar substitutes for Sherry in a soup are any dry fortified wines such as Vermouth, White Wine, Masala, Madeira, and Port Wine. Because their properties are similar to Sherry, these substitutes will also enhance the flavor of your soup. If you don’t have these on hand, try Brandy or Apple Cider Vinegar.

Here is a chart indicating the pros and cons of the 7 best substitutes for Sherry in soup: 

Sherry SubstitutesPros Of Substitute Cons Of SubstituteAverage CostBest Type Of Soup To Use In
White VermouthMimics Sherry’s taste the closest. Can easily overpower soups due to its strong flavor. $10-$24French Onion Soup
Dry MadeiraIs a fortified dry wine just like Sherry. Has a unique flavor that is different from Sherry. $10-$38Wild Mushroom Soup 
Dry MarsalaGreat for caramelizing beef, turkey, and mushrooms.Dry Marsala still tends to be sweet even when dry. $4-$26Creamy Chicken Marsala Soup
Dry White WineIs an easy-to-find fortified dry wine. The flavor is less complex than Vermouth or Madeira. $14-$25Green Pea Soup
BrandySherry is fortified using Brandy.The flavor is not quite similar to Sherry.$16-$22French Onion or Creamy Mushroom.
Shaoxing Cooking WineGreat at intensifying flavors in dishes. The flavor is kind of salty. $5-$20Wonton Soup
Apple Cider VinegarIs a non-alcoholic option, a vivid and tangy flavor.Vinegar is not alcohol and is more acidic. $6-$14Chicken Soup 

The rest of this article will discuss sherry soup substitutes in greater detail so you can still take your cooking to the next level, even if you don’t have sherry in stock. Read on to learn about which sherry substitutes will give you the best results in your soup, some of the pros and cons, as well as the best substitute you can use to replace Sherry in French Onion Soup.

1. White Vermouth

Bottle of Martini Extra Dry Vermouth

First, let’s discuss White Vermouth. This Sherry substitute is probably the best one you could use due to its intense, rich flavors, and it tends to be the most popular substitute to use in place of Sherry. 

White Vermouth can be used in place of Sherry in a soup. When using White Vermouth, you should be careful to only add ¼ of the Vermouth in place of the Sherry. You can always slowly add more to taste. Be careful to start small since Vermouth can easily overpower a dish. 

It’s also important to note that a dry Vermouth is a better substitute for Sherry than a sweet Vermouth. So be sure to double-check before adding it to your soup, as this can either make or break the overall flavor of your dish. 

2. Dry Madeira 

Let’s talk about why dry Madeira is such a great option for Sherry substitutes in soup.

This wine gets its name from the island of Madeira and is well known for its unique flavor– a flavor that will certainly make an excellent addition to your cooking.

Dry Madeira is an excellent substitute for Sherry because it also falls under dry fortified wines. Dry fortified wines are great for bringing out strong, rich flavors found in soups and other dishes, though Sherry is more prevalently used in soups like French Onion. 

This famous Italian wine is a common substitute for Sherry in cooking, and you should be safe to add equal amounts of this wine into your soup in place of the Sherry. Some even prefer this beautiful wine in place of Sherry in certain dishes due to its distinct flavor, which comes from being repeatedly heated during the fermentation process.

3. Dry Marsala

Another fantastic substitute that will taste quite similar to Sherry in soup is dry Marsala. This awesome wine gets its name from the Italian city of Marsala, located in Sicily.

Dry Marsala is an excellent substitute for Sherry in most dishes, including soup, due to its similarity and the fact that it’s also considered a dry fortified wine. In addition, because dry Marsala doesn’t have as strong a flavor as Vermouth, you are safe to add the same amount of Marsala as you would Sherry to the recipe. 

When cooking with this wine, you want to make sure that you purchase it dry as it is known for being sweet even when dry. This wine would do well in cheesy soups and is often paired with cheeses. 

4. Dry White Wine

Dry White Wine is another great example of a Sherry soup substitute.

This is an inexpensive alternative to Sherry and is relatively easy to acquire if you don’t already have some in your cupboard somewhere. You should also barely be able to tell the difference when you use White Wine in place of Sherry in your soup. 

So if you are looking for a relatively cheap and easily acquired substitute for Sherry, I definitely recommend using a dry White Wine in its place. 

5. Brandy

If you have some Brandy on hand, it’s a decent alternative to adding Sherry to your soup.

Sherry is fortified with Brandy, which is why Brandy is a reasonably good option to use in its place. However, it’s important to note that the flavor of Brandy will not be quite the same since its creation process is vastly different. Though Brandy isn’t the best alternative to Sherry, it will definitely do the job in a pinch.

Just be sure to add tiny amounts of the liquor to taste. Otherwise, you may overpower the soup and cause it to take on a rather unpleasant flavor.

6. Shaoxing Cooking Wine

Another good alternative to Sherry is Shaoxing Cooking Wine.

Shaoxing is a type of Chinese wine made from rice. This cooking wine is one the most popular rice wines and will make an excellent alternative to Sherry in a pinch. 

Shaoxing Cooking Wine is rather salty and is recommended purely for cooking purposes. However, this wine can certainly be used in place of Sherry when trying to coax out complex flavors from a dish such as soup. 

Just remember only to add a tiny bit when using this wine in place of Sherry in a recipe. Shaoxing Cooking Wines’ complex salty flavor can easily change the flavor of your dish if too much is added. So be sure to go slow and add small amounts at a time.  

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Last but not least, we have Apple Cider Vinegar. If you are looking for a non-alcoholic substitute, Apple Cider Vinegar is the best one, and most already have this pantry staple in their home. 

Apple Cider Vinegar is the best substitute for those wanting to avoid alcohol in their soup. This vinegar works so well because of the acidity. Not to mention the coloration is light and will not alter the color of your soup like some of the darker colored options.

When using Apple Cider Vinegar, add in small amounts and give the soup time to cook down the acidic vinegar before removing it from the heat. 

If you don’t already have Apple Cider Vinegar stocked in your pantry, I recommend Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (available on Amazon). This organic vinegar has the best raw, unfiltered, and reasonably priced flavor.

What’s the Best Substitute for Sherry in French Onion Soup?

French onion soup ingredients on a wood cutting board

One of the best soups that often utilizes Sherry is French Onion Soup. By adding an alcoholic beverage such as Sherry, you can better bring out the beefy flavors within the dish. So let’s talk about what you should use as a substitute for Sherry in your French Onion Soup. 

The best substitute for Sherry in French Onion Soup is White Vermouth. Vermouth is rich in flavor compared to average cooking wines and will bring out deep flavors within your French Onion Soup. 

However, when using Vermouth as a substitute for Sherry in French Onion Soup, you will want to add small portions at a time. Otherwise, you will risk overpowering the dish with Vermouth’s strong spiced flavor.

For more, don’t miss 10 Best Non-Alcoholic Substitutes for Brandy in Cooking.

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