That’s right. That’s what I asked. What the hell is up with soup? I mean, who decided that soup would be the food for what ails you? Did God, or whoever you worship, hang out with his poker or golfing buddies and say, “When my two legged creations are feeling poorly, I believe they will turn to a warm liquidy substance, maybe containing vegetables or meat products, and perhaps some grainy items or noodley things, and that will make them feel better.” God would then sink a 33 foot birdie putt (like he’d miss) and turn to one of his friends. “You should get on the task of making this soup, Mr. Campbell.”
Seriously, is this the way it happened? Or maybe God didn’t have his good friend Mr. Campbell make it for him. Maybe God, on his day of rest, required something warm yet light to carry into his future days of creation? Maybe it was he (or she) who coined the term “soup is good food”?
Or, perhaps, soup didn’t come along until the cavemen. Maybe it was Og and his brother Yig who, failing to hunt anything, had to rely on their wives (like they could tell them apart) to cook the berries, twigs, roots and whatever else they had gathered in all their Cro-magnon glory. Maybe with the right amount of thick, mud like water, the first stew was born. Rich and hearty, good enough to supply Og and Yig with enough power to hunt Brontosaurus for the next week. (Like they could tell time).
What if it was the Romans who provided us this nourishing liquid meal? What if Julius was sitting around wating for a servant to feed him and one nubile young lassie came in and slid a plate towards him and he scoffed at it. “I’ve had enough of salad.” He might have cried. “Give me something that doesn’t contain dried bread crumbs.” And in their mad rush to give their exhaulted ruler something new, his people grew angry and he was betrayed, murdered by his friend. Before he could get his lips around the hot soothing soupy goodness, he was gone. The world is a lesser place because of it. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a nice bowl of Caesar soup? I think so.
But, having failed at researching the origins of soup, I cannot fill your heads with tales of gallant chefs scouring the country side for the freshest of ingredients to feed the rich and the wealthy. No, I cannot do that. I could regale you with tales of my youth, sitting in a sweaty dressing room after hockey, sipping on a mug of chicken noodle soup to warm up. I could delight you with wonderful tales, in technicolour precision, of the first time I went to the Olive Garden and had 12 bowls, yes you read that right, of their minestrone soup for their all you can eat soup, salad and breadstick lunches. I could, but I won’t.
Of course, this does little to stop me from thinking why soup became so powerful. We have Soup Nazis (thanks Seinfeld), soup to go, and even soup du joir. Why do we continue to glamourize soup? It is not sexy. Soup does not scream Hollywood. Hell, soup doesn’t even scream Compton. (Soup is an inanimate object and doesn’t scream. Making soup scream would be to personify it in literary terms and that is just plain crazy).
I think soup is overrated. Never once have I invited a girl over for dinner and wooed her with the chance to have soup.
“Soup. Oh Ger, I love soup.” Her eyelids flutter. “After soup, I like to have sex.”
That’s never happened, and until it does, soup is overrated. James Bond doesn’t impress people with soup. “I’ll have chicken noodle, creamy, no celery.” And how many sex scenes have you seen that have involved big pots of beef and barley soup? None. I knew it. The French, bless them, have tried to give soup a little culture and class, but I’m still not licking French Onion soup off of any body parts.
So, here’s to soup. I hope it is warm and tasty the next time you have some. And don’t forget the bread or crackers, or a combination of the two. And, please, make sure when you scoop some onto your spoon you blow on it at least twice; I’d hate to see you burn your lips.
And that, my friends, is the worst thing about soup. It has evil tendencies. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But I must go, I’m having a nice bisque for dinner.