National Soup Month is celebrated annually in the United States from January 1st - 31st.
Although this is American, it celebrates all types of soups from around the world. Soup
Month is gaining momentum in other countries as well because everybody loves a good
soup and every country is famous for their own kind.
Soup is considered to be as old as the history of cooking. When food was hard to find,
dumping various ingredients into a pot to boil was not only cheap, it was filling. Its simple
constitution made it accessible to rich and poor alike, and simple ingredients made it easy
to digest for the both the healthy and sick. Each culture adopted its own variation with the
ingredients on hand like Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone, but the
basic ingredient always stayed the same, water.
It's clear man knew about boiling long before the invention of earthenware pottery (around
6,000 BC). Ever inventive, prehistoric man found that bamboo trees filled with clay, reptile
shells, and especially the stomachs from the animals they had killed, all made perfect
vessels in which to boil liquid filled with fresh meat over a hot fire. When nothing else was
available, they could always resort to the more time consuming method of filling a pit with
water and throwing in a few stones heated from the fire to bring the water to a boil.
While our early ancestors may have employed hot water to heat foods in natural
containers, the cooking technique of boiling was not commonly used until the invention of
waterproof and heatproof containers about five thousand years ago. Many animal parts,
such as bones, could not be eaten even if roasted. Boiling extracted whatever nutritional
value these unused parts possessed. Likewise, some plant parts were inedible in their
natural state, but became consumable after boiling.
One of the first types of soups can be dated to about 6,000 B.C. Boiling was not a
common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers (which probably
came in the form of pouches made of clay or animal skin) about 9,000 years ago. Soup
can be made out of broth or a form of liquid.
The word soup comes from French soupe ("soup", "broth"), which comes through Vulgar
Latin suppa ("bread soaked in broth") from a Germanic source, from which also comes the
word "sop", a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.
One of the soup that has made many mothers and grandmothers testifying they can "cure
the common cold" by has been that of chicken soup. And as you know you should listen to
your mother. There have been some speculation and different theories that have come up
throughout the days of if there is something in Chicken Soup that may help cure or help
one feel better when they are sick with the cold or flu.
In the 12 the century, one physician by the name of Moses Maimonides actually
prescribed chicken soup as a cold and asthma remedy during his time. Since then, the
therapeutic properties of the soup have been studied and have baffled doctors for
decades. There have been some other theories that doctors of today have concluded
based upon their recent findings that may suggest that soup may have some healing
One doctor by the name of Dr. Irwin Ziment, M.D. pulmonary specialist and professor at
UCLA school of Medicine, stated that chicken soup may have similar properties that of
modern cold medicines. Another doctor by the name of Stephen Rennard M.D., chief of
pulmonary medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha said that
chicken soup acts helps because it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent by stopping
inflammation produced around bronchial tubes that may cause a cough or congestion.
Some other experts suggest that the steam the hot soup produces may help cold and flu
victims in facilitating breathing and assistance with clearing congestion.
Portable soup was devised in the 18th century by boiling seasoned meat until a thick,
resinous syrup was left that could be dried and stored for months at a time. The Japanese
miso is an example of a concentrated soup paste.
More than 130 years ago, a young chemist named Dr. John T. Dorrance made his mark
on history with the invention of condensed soup. He created an icon and laid the
foundation for the "Campbell Soup Company". Soups were inexpensive to make but very
expensive to ship. Dorrance realized that if he could remove soup's heaviest ingredient
water, he could create a formula for condensed soup and slash the price of soup from
$.30 to $.10 per can.
Soup was not a popular staple in the American diet at the turn of the 20th century, but it
was in Europe. However, Dorrance's condensed soups quickly became successful among
the public for their convenience and their price of 10 cents a can. The product competed
at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and was awarded a gold medal, an image of which still
appears on the label.
Today soups have become a staple food all over the globe. We have stylized them to
favor everyone's individual taste, texture and appearance. Men seem to like a heartier
soup closer to a stew where women like something lighter like a Con Somme or broth, and
the kids, well they go for the soups with recognizable shapes like alphabet or their favorite
No matter what kind of soup you fancy, it is most likely delicious and nutritious and can be
made from just about any kind of ingredient, even stones, as long as you have some
water and a vessel to cook it in.