I really don’t give it the consideration it deserves, considering how intrinsic to memory it tends to be.
When I was young, it was tomato. Straight up. No fancy spices or additions. Just tomato with buttered toast. Kind of incredible when one considers how much I don’t like tomatoes. But it’s a texture thing. Also sugar.
I remember stone soup, the story. I was always torn on who was the villain in that story. Here’s this guy, he’s tired, he’s hungry, and this woman has a warm house, with food in the pantry that she determinedly refuses to share. For some reason, she’s even nervous about letting him in? What the hell, lady?
But as a grown woman, if a guy showed up at my door with a sob story about needing a place to lay his head… “and I just happen to have this rock with me….” Is that a threat? Hey old woman, let me in and share your food with me or I’ll bean you with this rock and take it. Your choice.
Yeah, that’s really a choice. But he made her soup! With her food.
I might be remembering that story wrong. It just seems like an analogy for pushing boundaries, which doesn’t line up with how I feel about soup at all.
I feel like soup is one of those things that should be a one question personality test. Is someone who loves broccoli and cheese more trustworthy than one who favours mulligatawny? Does beef barley suggest megalomania where cashew, carrot, ginger denotes a certain laissez-faire attitude? Can chicken honestly be added to any soup? Or is that overly poultry-centric? And what does it say about someone who prefers noodles? Crackers instead of bread?
I’m sure there are people out there who give soup far more consideration than I do, but I have and have always had a strange ambivalence toward it. It’s a non meal meal.
To be lunch it should be accompanied by a sandwich. But sandwich can be lunch on it’s own, so why include the soup unless you’re some kind of fancypants who has time and tummy space for such things?
To be dinner, it had better be closer to stew, hearty and filling, comprised of a few of the food groups and have a texture more akin to gravy than broth.
I might be overthinking it, but in the words of someone I think is pretty alright, that’s better than underthinking it.
Now I kind of want to ask people, when I meet them, instead of the standard “what do you do” (because there is this myth that we are our jobs), what kind of soup gives you the most joy?
Perhaps I’ll become an alchemist who tells fortunes with soup.
A soup diviner.