Friday, January 18, 2019

Soup Is Not a Meal! (Or Is It?)

I'm a farm boy from Idaho. I'm a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. (Especially if those potatoes are in french fry or hash brown form.) When I think of dinner, I'm thinking of a good, hearty meal that I can stick a fork in, cut with a knife, or pick up with my bare hands. When I sit down to eat, I want something substantial, something that says, "Now that was a meal!"

I don't like soup.

You can't eat soup with a fork. You can't pick it up with your fingers. You can't cut it with a knife. What can you do with soup? You can sip it. You can stir it. You can slosh it. If you're not careful, you can spill it.

Soup isn't a meal, it's what you get before a meal instead of salad. (Salad isn't a meal, either. Don't get me started on salad!)

Do you know what they serve with soup? Crackers. Do you know why they serve crackers with soup? To make it more substantial. Do you understand that? In order to give soup some substance and make it more of a meal, they serve crackers with it! Has anyone ever said, "This steak is nice and all, but you know what would make it better? Add some crackers!" Of course not!

When I was growing up, the only time I ever enjoyed soup was when I had a cold and Mom made me some chicken noodle soup. Yes, that's right, the only time I liked soup was when I was too sick to know any better.

Soup was something that came in a can. And, in order to properly prepare it you would have to pour the soup out of the can, then add a whole other can-full of water to it! It was already mostly water, but then you would add twice as much water to it! Yum, nothing is quite as satisfying as warmed-up water!

Soup = Warm water with a hint of flavoring.

There were a few exceptions, like my sister-in-law's homemade chicken noodle soup, with its big chunks of chicken, and the zupa toscana at Olive Garden, which features nice bits of sausage. (Sausage is like the back-up quarterback of bacon.) But generally, I didn't like soup.

And then, I got married. And my wife started making me soup. And slowly but surely my anti-soup stance started to soften. Sometimes she would disguise the soup and confuse me by calling it a "chili" or a "chowder." (I'm easily confused.)

Over the course of the years, she's gotten to me with her taco soup (which is meaty, like a chili); her ham and potato chowder (with so many chunks of wonderful ham) (ham is the very skilled third-string quarterback to bacon and sausage); and even her simple cheese and broccoli soup (which doesn't even have meat in it, but is still excellent!) They are all delicious, and I enjoy eating them. But, whenever she says, "We're having soup," part of my brain still thinks back to the days of emptying out a can of glop and then adding another can of water.

I guess you could say I don't like the idea of soup, but when it comes down to the actual substance of the soup my wife makes, I like it a lot.

Even if I can't eat it with my bare hands.

Edited from a post originally published on 12/27/2016.

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