Soup is an important dish of every meal. Just like salad, having a bowl of soup have a lot of health benefits as you get to eat more veggies packed with nutrients.
Eating nothing but soup for a meal can also make one slimmer but it can be a difficult challenge. Doing so can make you hungry but for others, eating more soup make them more energized and feel full for hours.
Fiona Kirk wrote a book on soup as an effective diet. In her bestseller “Soup Can Make You Thin”, Kirk wrote:
“The wealth of ingredients in a bowl of soup provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats as well as the vitamins and minerals required to create energy and keep us firing on all cylinders.”
Soup is healthy, no doubt. But that’s not the only reasons why soup is good.
WHY THE WORD “SOUP?”
“The etymological idea underlying the word soup is that of soaking. It goes back to an unrecorded post-classical Latin verb suppare soak’, which was borrowed from the same prehistoric German root (sup-) as produced in English sup and supper. From it was derived the noun suppa, which passed into Old French as soupe. This meant both piece of bread soaked in liquid’ and, by extension, broth poured onto bread.’ It was the latter strand of the meaning that entered English in the seventeenth century. Until the arrival of the term soup, such food had been termed broth or pottage. It was customarily served with the meat or vegetable dishes with which it had been made, and (as the dreivation of soup suggest) was poured over sops of bread or toast (the ancestors of modern croutons). But coincident with the introduction of the world soup, it began to be fashionable to serve the liquid broth on its own, and in the early eighteenth century it was assuming its present-day role as a first course.”
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOUP
Homo sapiens, modern humans, emerged about 200,000 years ago. For the majority of our existence, we have had no soup.
The earliest humans had nothing to boil water (or anything else) in. Boiling was not easy to do until the invention of waterproof containers, probably pouches made of clay or animal skin, about 9,000 years ago. According to The Star Ledger, one of the first types of soups can be dated to about 6,000 B.C.
Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and travelling cultures, rich and poor, healthy people and invalids. Soup (and stews, pottages, porridges, gruels, etc.) evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. New England chowder, Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone, French onion, Chinese won ton and Campbell’s tomato…are all variations on the same theme.
Soups were easily digested and were prescribed for invalids since ancient times. The modern restaurant industry is said to be based on soup. Restoratifs (wheron the word “restaurant” comes) were the first items served in public restaurants in 18th century Paris. Broth [Pot-au-feu], bouillion, and consomme entered here. Classic French cuisine generated many of the soups we know today.
Advancements in science enabled soups to take many forms…portable, canned, dehydrated, microwave-ready. “Pocket soup” was carried by colonial travellers, as it could easily be reconstituted with a little hot water. Canned and dehydrated soups were available in the 19th century. These supplied the military, covered wagon trains, cowboy chuck wagons, and the home pantry. Advances in science also permitted the adjustment of nutrients to fit specific dietary needs (low salt, high fiber, etc.).
Our word soup comes from French soupe, which derived from Vulgar Latin suppa, from the post-classical Latin verb suppare, to soak. This indicated bread soaked in broth, or a liquid poured onto a piece of bread. In Germanic languages, the word sop referred to a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew. The word entered the English language in the seventeenth century exactly as that: soup pored over “sops” of bread or toast (which evolved into croutons). Prior to then, soups were called broth or pottage. The bread or toast served as an alternative to using a spoon.
While the rich enjoyed elaborate soups, basic soup was a poor man’s dinner. Until recent times, the evening meal was the lighter of the two meals of the day; a soup or sop would be a typical evening dish. The name of the meal evolved to souper, than supper.
It began to be fashionable to serve the liquid broth without the sop (bread), and in the early eighteenth century, soup became a first course.
Since it’s a liquid, why do we “eat” soup rather than “drink” soup? Because it’s served in a dish. If you consume it from a mug or cup, then you can be deemed to be drinking your soup.
Soup is considered to be as old as the history of cooking. In times when food was scarce, dumping various ingredients into a pot to boil was not only cheap, it was filling. It’s simple constitution made it accessible to rich and poor alike, and simple ingredients made it easy to digest for the both the healthy and sick. Each culture adopted its own variation with the ingredients on hand—Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone—but the basics remain the same.
In western cuisine it is usually offered in lieu of a salad option if that is what the diner prefers.
Soup is served up front because it is usually prepared and ready to serve, thus buying time for the preparation of courses that require just in time preparation.
Also, if a soup is more soup than stew, it is usually pretty light and does not displace the forthcoming entrees. In other words it satisfies the requirements we expect from a starter course.
WHY YOU SHOULD EAT SOUP?
Soup is delicious.
Soup can be a comfort food as it is delicious. It is easy to make. With only a few ingredients, one can make a bowl of hearty soup for a cold evening.
Soup is good for the health.
Perhaps the easiest way to add vegetables to your daily meals is to make and eat soup. You can make several bowls of soup filled with fruits and veggies each day and you’ll be filled. Eating vegetables is part of a healthy diet so veggie soups are highly recommended.
Soup can help you lose weight.
Soups are slimming. Of course, that is if you strictly follow a weight-loss plan and exercise more. A bowl of soup packs minimal calorie but is very nutritious.
Soup makes you feel full.
Soup fills you up because it stretches the stomach. You easily feel full so it’s ideal to eat soup at the beginning of every meal.
Soup is affordable to make.
Making soup won’t require a lot of money. Go the grocery or market; buy some vegetables and fruits, broth or water, and you can easily make a batch enough to feed the entire family. For a small cost, you can make a lot of people feel full and healthy.
Soup can make you feel better.
Ever wondered by chicken soup is always given to the sick? It is because soup is great for people who are sick. It is easily digested and is filled with health benefits.