Question: What is the appropriate blessing on a soup which contains croutons, madlen (soup nuts), or noodles?
Answer: Throughout the past few days, we have discussed the basic laws of primary and secondary foods regarding blessings. We have learned that a food that has flour mixed into/with it, even if it is only a small amount of flour, will require the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing as long as the flour is there to add flavor to the food. Thus, the blessing on wafers and similar items is “Mezonot” although a majority of it is comprised of “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro” ingredients.
When analyzing the appropriate blessing on a soup containing croutons, noodles, and the like, it seems that since the blessing on the croutons or noodles is “Mezonot”, the appropriate blessing on the soup as a whole should therefore be “Boreh Minei Mezonot.”
Nevertheless, this matter is subject to a disagreement among the Rishonim, for some disagree with the above premise since when one drinks the soup alone, one has no intention of eating the noodles, this therefore resembles two completely separate foods, such as rice alongside meat, in which case one recites the appropriate blessing on each food. This dispute is contingent upon another rabbinic dispute which makes it extremely difficult to explain in the scope of this Halacha.
Halachically speaking, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes (in his Chazon Ovadia-Berachot, page 166) that if there is a significant amount of noodles, even if most of the dish is comprised of soup, one should recite the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing which will in turn exempt the soup as well. The same applies to croutons and soup nuts in that if one places a copious amount of these items into the soup (as children will sometimes request), the correct blessing on the soup is “Boreh Minei Mezonot” (see Halacha Berura, Chapter 205). However, if there is only a minimal amount of noodles in the soup, such as is the case regarding croutons or soup nuts when they are sparsely sprinkled on the top of the soup but are not mixed into the entire dish, the soup will then require an additional blessing of “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro.” In such a case, it is preferable to first recite the “Shehakol” blessing on another beverage and then to recite the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing on the noodles or croutons, in which case, one will avoid all doubt. (See recently published Yalkut Yosef-Hilchot Berachot for a discussion of this topic.)
Similarly, if one is doubtful regarding whether or not the amount of noodles in the soup is considered “significant” or not, one may first recite the “Shehakol” blessing on another beverage and then recite the “Mezonot” blessing on the noodles.