Soup has been a Loyal Companion for various Countries to bust the Cold of Winter and fill many tummies throughout the centuries! The German’s call it “Sop”, the French, “Soupe”, while the Latin word from Ancient Rome “Suppa”, describe a Dish made from a ‘Broth with the addition of Bread’ served in or with the Soup.
Famous Soups from around the world include Thailand’s Tom Yum Broth Style Soup, Minestrone from Italy, Borscht from Russia, Mulligatawny from India, Consommé, Bouillabaisse and French Onion Soup from France and Laksa from Malaysia only to name a few. The USA’s New England famous Clam Chowder have become an All Time Favourite, just as Andalusia’s refreshing Gazpacho, the cold “Salad-Titbit” Style Soup. The broken-down train on a railway in France served a Cold Potato and Leek Cream Based Soup Namely Vichyssoise that is still enjoyed today in countries all around the world! Petite Marmite describes a classic French Clay Soup Crockery Pot that were used in the olden days to produce a Hearty Meaty Soup made from Chicken, Beef or Marrow Bones that included various Vegetables as well as Cabbage. Scotland’s Scotch Broth make for another Hearty style of Soup containing Barley, Cubed Beef or Lamb, Carrots, Turnips, Cabbage and Leeks, as the Chicken broth with Leeks and Potatoes, ‘Cock-a-Leekie’, that still satisfy many a hunger pain and beat the harsh winters from the Highlands of Scotland.
Germany offers Laberkroedel, a Clear Broth Style Soup containing Liver dumplings, while The Netherlands is famous for their wholesome Smokey Sausage Split Pea Combo, Snert. Goulash, the famous diced Beef Pepper and Paprika Soup is finished off with a little Sour Cream and is often classified as a “Stew” due to its thick consistency. Albondigas from Mexico contains the mouth-watering Meatball as well as Onions, Garlic and Tomatoes. Indonesia gave the world Soto Ayam, a Chicken Fond Based Soup garnished with Boiled Egg and Glass Noodles, and, Sop Buntut, the warming Beefy Oxtail Soup with an array of Spices, including Ginger, Clove, Cardamom and Cinnamon. Japan is famous for their Miso Based Soup, Fermented Red Bean Paste, including Dashi, a Mushroom Based Fond (*See Master Class Index Fond) and Tofu. The creamy Coconut Milk Based Chicken Soup from Thailand namely Tom Kha Gai includes luxurious aromatics such as Galangal, Lemongrass and Chili Peppers, often served with Thai Kamut Lime. Pho the chubby lovable Panda character from Kung Fu Panda working in his father’s Noodle Shop (a Duck!) cheekily puts a play on the Vietnamese Beef or Chicken Broth, Pho, that could contain anything from Ginger, Asian Coriander, Asian Basil, Black Cardamom, Star Anise to Cloves, and is a highly aromatic Broth, that is also often served with various types of Noodles.
Countries throughout the ages have produced their own Traditional Soup or borrowed Soup Styles from other Capitals of the World. However, we will not debate that Soup, the Humble Winter Warmer or the Blistering Summer Cooler have brought both friend and foe to the Table of Festivity and Enjoyment, and, I believe we all have a Special Favourite among the endless varieties of the world.
Although Soup originated in China, it was dominated by Roman rule for 500 years. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 467 AD, Soup survived in the Byzantine Empire that centred on Constantinople. It was only after the fall of the Ottoman Turks that Soup from Asia began to influence European Cuisine. During the Middle Ages, Soup for the Aristocracy were poured onto a Roasted Flatbread, that, doubled up as a plate (if you were lucky enough to be close by, the “Left-over Plate” would serve as another Meal in round number two for the Poor!) With the birth of the typical Renaissance Stiff Fashioned Collar, the Soup Spoon were invented to ease the process of enjoying one’s Soup without Spoiling the outfit while flopping the “Bread Soup” all over your embroidered stiffened collar!
Today we are fortunate to choose from a vast assortment of Cream Based Soups, Clear Broths, Vegetable or Meaty Fond Based Varieties. Soups are served either Hot or Cold. Consistencies vary due to the Specific Nature of the Style of that Soup. Soup today are Thickened using a selection of different Ingredients (Vegetables, Starches, Creams etc.). We will be looking at the vast subject of Soup in this Master Class Index Topic 5 and I hope to inspire you to dust off the Recipes of Old, invent new Soups and remember Grandmama’s Famous knock-out Soup as well as State of the Art Soup that were designed throughout the ages demanding skill and time to bring to perfection, sometimes even cooked for days to develop Flavour… Be Inspired Foodies, let us Cease the day and start Broth-ing Away!
Soup varies due to the Style of Soup, the Thickening Agent used and the Type of Soup as classified according to its Texture, Consistency and Flavour. Let us look at a few examples below (next article):