On the Demise of Soup

When I was a kid my Dad made soup. It was tasty stuff full of veggies and meat and I adored it. If we didn’t have homemade soup then perhaps we would be treated to a can of Tomato soup. Soup was a part of the meal though back then. I suppose in recent decades, convenience foods have made a big chunk in most people’s diets and soup – real soup – seems to have disappeared a casualty of the war on dining (or preparation?) time. In the US, I rarely saw soup either except perhaps for the soup and salad restaurants where you could buy a hearty soup and fill a plate with salad for lunch. Soup, it seems is unpopular, unloved and old fashioned.

Here in the Czech Republic, soup and I were reintroduced. Here soup is a staple part of daily lunch. It comes in some really amazing characters too – potato soup, tomato soup, chicken broth, Meat broth, the yummy garlic soup bound to ensure your social popularity, and much more. I particularly enjoy the meat broth that often comes with small balls of boiled ground liver – it sounds gross but it is in fact delicious. Soup is celebrated here in the Czech Republic as is real food really. At least for now. KFC, McDonalds and the like are beginning to encroach and the younger folk seem to like that plastic languid antiseptic crud but you know what – there is no soup and I think thats a problem. At the schools here, soup is a key part of the daily meal and valued for its nutrition. Kids grow up with soup and they come to value it. I know my daughter often doesn’t think it was a proper meal with soup.

I think we should run a campaign to bring back soup. Soup in all its varieties and flavours homemade and piping hot. Let’s reject that dreadful salty powder that you add water to and boil and goes under the name of soup too because it isn’t soup at all. It’s boiled powder. Let’s get back to good old soup – chicken soup for the soul….


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