Soup (sometimes called broth) is a liquid foodstuff created by boiling ingredients in water, stock or broth. Soup, particularly of the vegetable variety was originally a good way of reusing left over vegetables from a previous meal. Soup is customarily served in a bowl and eaten with a soup spoon and is mostly served as a hot meal.
With the advent of the canning process as a method of preserving foods, canned soup has become exceedingly popular the world over. Popular canned soup varieties include Campbell's (as immortalised by Andy Warhol) and the Heinz varieties. These simply require heating in a pan or microwave before serving.
In addition to fresh and canned soups, dehydrated or "packet" soups are available in dried form. These can be made into soup with the simple addition of boiling water. These are often eaten as part of a weight loss diet and are sometimes referred to as "instant" soups. These are often made in a cup or mug instead of a bowl.
A primary ingredient of most soups is water. In response to the high cost of transporting canned soups from the factory to the consumer, soup vendors such as Campbell's developed a process for removing a significant portion of the water from the soup (by boiling it off) prior to canning. This saves the cost of transporting the weight of the removed water. When a user prepares a condensed soup, a specified amount of water (or milk) is added back to the soup prior to heating and serving.
The "stone soup" fable, a popular children's tale is about a peddler who is able to cheat a landowner out of a meal by claiming he can make soup from a stone. In the popular version, he keeps tasting the soup and claiming "it would be better if you added more ingredients" until the landowner has added enough ingredients to make a nourishing meal.
Popular and Traditional Soups
- Pea and Ham Soup - A popular London soup made with cured pork and marrowfat peas.
- Chicken Noodle Soup - A popular packet variety.
- Onion Soup - A French specialty often served with bread and cheese.
- Tomato Soup - The Heinz canned variety is popular the world over.
- Minestrone Soup - Available in canned and packet varieties as well as being a classic soup.
- Chicken Soup - Popular in many cultures and often given to the sick as a simple nourishing repast.
- Lard Soup - A traditional British dish made from lard (sometimes called "dripping"). Traditionally served with a bread roll (a "cob" or "bampot").
- Miso soup - A staple Japanese dish made with fermented soya.
- Grilled cheese soup - A popular soup from Western New Mexico involving a Grilled cheese and soup.