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I know there's a brother somewhere who will never refuse me a bowl of soup
    —Tuco Ramirez
Never blow your soup if it is too hot, but wait until it cools. Never raise your plate to your lips, but eat with your spoon
    —Cecil B. Hartley

Soup is a primarily liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but may be cool or cold), that is made by combining ingredients of meat or vegetables with stock, milk, or water. Hot soups are additionally characterised by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, forming a broth. Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two; however, soups generally have more liquid (broth) than stews.


  • This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is—
      A sort of soup, or broth, or brew,
    Or hotchpotch, of all sorts of fishes,
      That Greenwich never could outdo;
    Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffern,
      Soles, onions, garlic, roach, and dace;
    All these you eat at Terré’s tavern,
      In that one dish of Bouillabaisse.
  • I dip my hat to Chaucer,
    Swilling soup from his saucer,
    • John Crowe Ransom, "Survey of Literature" (1945)
  • Who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup,
  • And now you’re really in the total animal soup of time—
  • Even a tramp like me, no matter what happens, I know there's a brother somewhere who will never refuse me a bowl of soup.

A Commonplace Book of Cookery[edit]

Quotes reported in: Robert Grabhorn, ed., A Commonplace Book of Cookery (North Point Press, 1985), pp. 73–77
  • To make good soup, the pot must only simmer or "smile".
  • Whoever tells a lie cannot be pure in heart—and only the pure in heart can make a good soup.
  • At dinners where there are a number of guests, the vessel, containing the soup, that is to say, the tureen, does not appear at all, upon the table. It is placed on the dining-room buffet; the soup is served to the guests in soup-bowls, by servants.
    At family dinners, the tureen is placed before the person doing the honours for him to serve the guests, but the first is the usual method, and for all that, preferable.
    For the formal as well as the informal dinner soup should be prepared with the greatest care; for, served at the beginning of the meal, it inevitably influences opinion about the meal which it precedes: soup should always be served hot.
    • Urbain Dubois, École des Cuisinière (1871)
  • In taking soup, it is necessary to avoid lifting too much in the spoon, or filling the mouth so full as almost to stop the breath.
    • Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, The Rules of Christian Manners and Civility
  • Bouillabaisse is only good because cooked by the French, who, if they cared to try, could produce an excellent and nutritious substitute out of cigar stumps and empty matchboxes.
  • Birds in their little nests agree
      With Chinamen, but not with me.
  • Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
    Waiting in a hot tureen!
    Who for such dainties would not stoop?
    Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
    Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
  • Never blow your soup if it is too hot, but wait until it cools. Never raise your plate to your lips, but eat with your spoon.
  • Taking soup gracefully, under the difficulties opposed to it by a dinner dress at that time fashionable, was reared into an art about forty-five years ago by a Frenchman, who lectured upon it to ladies in London; and the most brilliant duchess of that day, viz., the Duchess of Devonshire, was amongst his best pupils.
  • Eloise,—Perhaps you are not aware of the reason why the great majority of people in this country are opposed to, and even accused of not liking, soup; the simple reason is, that every receipt described in most Cookery Books, is so complicated and expensive, that they cannot afford either the money, time, or attention, to prepare it.
  • “Clam or Cod?” she repeated.
    “A clam for supper? a cold clam; is that what you mean, Mrs. Hussey?” says I, “but that’s a rather cold and clammy reception in the winter time, ain’t it, Mrs. Hussey?”
    But being in a great hurry to resume scolding the man in the purple Shirt, who was waiting for it in the entry, and seeming to hear nothing but the word “clam,” Mrs. Hussey hurried towards an open door leading to the kitchen, and bawling out “clam for two,” disappeared.
    “Queequeg,” said I, “do you think that we can make out a supper for us both on one clam?”
    However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favourite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition: when leaning back a moment and bethinking me of Mrs. Hussey’s clam and cod announcement, I thought I would try a little experiment. Stepping to the kitchen door, I uttered the word “cod” with great emphasis, and resumed my seat. In a few moments the savoury steam came forth again, but with a different flavor, and in good time a fine cod-chowder was placed before us.
    We resumed business; and while plying our spoons in the bowl, thinks I to myself, I wonder now if this here has any effect on the head? What’s that stultifying saying about chowder-headed people? “But look, Queequeg, ain’t that a live eel in your bowl? Where’s your harpoon?”
    Fishiest of all fishy places was the Try Pots, which well deserved its name; for the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowder for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, till you began to look for fish-bones coming through your clothes. The area before the house was paved with clam-shells. Mrs. Hussey wore a polished necklace of codfish vertebra; and Hosea Hussey had his account books bound in superior old shark-skin. There was a fishy flavor to the milk, too, which I could not at all account for, till one morning happening to take a stroll along the beach among some fishermen’s boats, I saw Hosea’s brindled cow feeding on fish remnants, and marching along the sand with each foot in a cod’s decapitated head, looking very slip-shod, I assure ye.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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