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The popularity of soups today may be due to increased nutrition consciousness, due to a desire for simpler lighter meals, or due to an increased appreciation of how appetizing and satisfying soup can be. Whatever the reason, the emphasize the importance of soup making skills. Soup, according to a dictionary, is a liquid food derived from meat, poultry, fish or vegetable or a combination of them.

Classification of Soup

Soups can be classified into three main categories:

1. Clear or un-thickened Soups

2. Thick Soups

3. Specialty and National Soups

Most of these soups, whatever the category, are based on stock. Thus, the quality of soup depends upon the skill of stock making.


These soups are based on a clear, un-thickened broth or stock. They may be served plain or garnished with a variety of meats and vegetables.

1. Broth and Bouillon are two terms used in many different ways, but in general they both refer to simple, clear soup without solid ingredients. Broth is the flavourful liquid obtained from simmering meat and/or vegetables, and is often the base for another soup.

2. Vegetable Soup or cut vegetable soup is a clear, seasoned stock or broth with the addition of one or more vegetables and sometimes meat or poultry products and starch to lightly thicken and give body to the soup.

3. Consommé is a rich flavourful stock that has been clarified to make it perfectly clear and transparent. Far from being a plain cup of soup, a well-made consommé is considered the greatest of all soups. Its sparkling clarity is a delight to the eye, and its rich, full flavour, strength, and body make it a perfect starter for an elegant dinner.


Unlike clear soups, thick soups are opaque rather than transparent. They are thickened by a thickening agent such as a roux, or by pureeing one of the ingredients to provide a heavier consistency.

1. Cream Soups are soups that are thickened with roux, beurre manie or liaison. Cream soups are usually named after the main ingredient such as Cream of Chicken or Cream of Tomato.

2. Purees are soups that are naturally thickened by pureeing one or more of their ingredients. They are not as smooth or creamy as a cream soup. Purees are normally based on starchy ingredients like dried peas or from fresh starchy ingredients like potato. Purees may or may not contain milk or cream.

3. Bisques are thickened soups made from shellfish. They are usually prepared like cream soups and finished off with cream.

4. Veloutés are thick soups made with stock, liaison, roux and a flavouring. Are similar to cream soups but are much richer.

5. Chowders are hearty soups of American origin and are made of fish, shellfish and/or vegetables. Although they are made in different ways, they usually contain milk and potatoes. Processed pork products like ham, bacon or dried sausages are also added. There is also a version based on tomatoes. Cheese also features prominently in chowders.

6. Potage is a term sometimes associated with thick, hearty soups, but is actually a general term for soup. A clear soup is called potage clair in French.


This a general category for soups that do not fit into any of the previous groups. They are soups that are native to a particular region or country. Cold soups are sometimes categorized as specialty soups. The following are traditional soups from different parts of the world. Find out which countries they come from:














The standard portion size for soup is 6 to 8 oz. (200 to 250 ml)

Serve hot soups piping hot in soup cups or bowls.

Serve cold soups chilled in chilled cups or ideally, nesting in a container of crushed ice.


Soup garnishes may be divided into three groups:

1. Garnishes in the soup

Major ingredients, such as the vegetables in clear vegetable soup, are often considered as garnishes. This group of garnishes also includes meats, poultry, seafood, pasta products, and grains such as barley, or rice. They are treated as part of the preparation or recipe itself, not as something added on. Consommés are generally named after their garnish, such as consommé brunoise, which contains vegetables cut into brunoise. (3mm dices) Vegetable cream soups are usually garnished with carefully cut pieces of the vegetable from which they are made. An elegant way to serve soup with a solid garnish is to arrange the garnish attractively in the bottom of a heated soup plate. This plate is set before the diner, and then the soup is ladled from a tureen by the dining room staff.

2. Toppings

Clear soups are generally served without toppings to let the attractiveness of the clear broth and the carefully cut vegetables speak for themselves. Occasional exceptions are toppings of chopped parsley or chives. Thick soups, especially those that are all one colour, are often decorated with a topping. Toppings should be placed on the soup just before service so they won’t sink or lose their fresh appearance. Their Flavours must be appropriate to the soup. Do not overdo soup toppings. The food should be attractive in itself. Topping suggestions for thick soups: Fresh herbs parsley, chives chopped. Fried herbs, such as parsley, sage, chervil, celery leave, leek julienne, Fine julienne of vegetables, sliced almonds, roasted Grated cheese, Grated parmesan cheese. Sieved egg yolks, Chopped or diced egg whites Croutons, Crumbled bacon Paprika, Flavoured butters, flavoured oils, Sour cream, crème fraiche, or whipped cream, either plain or flavoured with herbs or spices.

3. Accompaniments

American soups are traditionally served with crackers. In addition to the usual saltines, other suggestions for crisp accompaniments are:

Melba toast, Corn chips, Bread sticks, Cheese straws, Profiteroles (tiny unsweetened cream puff shells), Whole grain wafer



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1 Comment

Jan 01

Very nice topic notes, thanks 👍🏽

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