Soup, Glorious Soup!

It was John Belushi’s last meal. President Garfield liked his with squirrel. Mary, Queen of Scots, liked hers in the form of Cockaleekie. If you haven’t guessed. I’m talking about soup!

If you find yourself saying “Boo-yeah! Kate’s talking about soup!”, then I am here for you. If you have Campbells in yoru pantry, or if you use the Lipton packets to actually make soup (instead of usign them to make dips, which is really all they are good for), then you need to repent! Soup is strong! Soup is powerful! Power to the Broth my brotha’!

*ahem* My apologies… I got a little carried away.

Soup has been around for a looooonnnggg time. Seriously long. Think the Egyptian empire and multiply it by three. Soup has been around for at least 10,000 years by most estimates. Back in the day, 10,000 BC (BC= Before Campbells) soup was what was often by double, bubble, toil and troubled over. And if they didn’t have one of those nifty neato huge black cauldrons so often thought of over the medieval hearth, then folks would dig holes (in dirt, clay or even stone) and place hot rocks into said holes along with the liquid that they wanted to heat.

Carson I.A. Ritchie in Food in Civilization states that. “Evidence suggests that the Neaderthalers had evolved quite sophisticated cooking techniques. They were able to keep alive members of the group who were apparently either very elderly or lifelong invalids. The remains of one young man found near La-Chapelle-aux-Saints in France were those of a cripple who could have been of no use in hunting for the group. Another skeleton was that of an old man who had his teeth worn down to such an extent that he would have found it impossible to chew meat. There was no milk in those days, the food on which, in later times, old toothless people were kept alive. It seems at least likely that people of this sort were nourished on a diet of soup. Now the invention of soup making opened the door for all kinds of other sophisticated cookery.”

Since then, it’s been nothing but a party for soup ever since.

  • King Henry IV of France said at his coronation in 1589: Je veux que le dimanche chaque paysan ait sa poul au pot, or “I wish that every peasant may have a chicken in his pot on Sundays.”
  • The Court of Louis XI were so vain that they lived almost exclusively on broths and consommés because they thought that chewing food would distort the face by developing ugly facial muscles.
  • Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was reported to have joked to his dinner guests one night that he had just served them soup laced with deadly poison.
  • When members of the Donner party set out across the Sierras and were hopelessly trapped for months by unprecedented snow, they began by eating their oxen, their pets, soup made from boiling hides, and even fur rugs toasted over the fire, only resorting to eating the flesh of their dead comrades when faced with starvation. When rescuers arrived in February of 1847, they found the survivors boiling parts of their comrades into soup. 48 of 89 in the original party survived.

See, how exciting! Soup has had an intersting history. When you look at a can of soup now, doesn’t it seem just a little more pitiful? There is only one way to redeem the soup.

Make some of your own!!!

Many thanks to Soup Song from which most of this information was garnered.