Who can forget the Mock Turtle’s mournful song: “Beautiful Soup, so rich and green, waiting in a hot tureen”? A hot tureen is not something anyone wants to carry around, but hot soup to go is a perennial favorite. It’s also one of the healthiest meals or snacks, full of vegetables, protein and comforting memories. Add crackers or croutons and it’s a meal.
Soup is a perennial favorite
A fondness for soup transcends national and cultural boundaries. From the familiar comfort of chicken noodle to the slightly bitter, enticing taste of miso soup, it’s a food favorite that spans the globe. For a spicier palate, hot and sour soup or lemongrass chili will hit the spot. And then there’s the Vietnamese Pho, in a category all by itself.
In many different cultures around the world, hot soup is a convenient and healthy food. It’s a good way to get some serious nourishment without spending a lot of time or money. In the U.S. alone, a billion cups of hot soup are consumed every year.
What’s for lunch?
The classic healthy lunch is soup and a sandwich, or soup and salad, with good reason. It gives you a shot of all the food groups you need to keep going for the rest of the day, without weighing you down. Most delis recognize this and have a soup station with daily favorites. As of 2016, almost a third or 32.1% were planing to expand their operations by adding to their soup stations.
Women tend to eat healthier than men, and order soup for lunch twice as often as do men. Hot soups to go are convenient to carry and to sip from cups with lids. They’re practically the ideal food for brown bag meetings, with little to no risk of making a mess, and no noisy wrappers to interrupt proceedings.
Soup of the evening
Apart from lunch, hot soup is the perfect in-between snack on a cold day. Whether you’ve been shoveling snow, or ice skating, or walking the dog, it’s a good way to warm up. And to get that feeling of comfort as the warmth finds its way around your insides.
That’s the reason why soup has been celebrated in different cultures, with chicken soup becoming a synonym for comfort. Andy Warhol’s paintings of cans of tomato soup have immortalized this dietary item in the world of popular culture. As the Mock Turtle’s slow and sad song concludes: “Who for such dainties would not stoop? Soup of the evening, Beautiful Soup.”
Hot soup is a favorite food in cultures around the world. It combines healthy eating with a variety of tastes and flavors, from the bland and comforting chicken noodle to the subtle spices of Pho. We’re sure the Mock Turtle would approve.