‘Stone Soup’, the popular fable of all times might bring memories to many of us of
our school days when we looked forward to hearing stories from our teachers, parents
and grandparents. This medieval folk tale amazes us as to how three weary and hungry
comrades taught some villagers to prepare a luscious meal that caters everyone even with
an inadequate food supply.
Certainly, it is the scrumptious and tantalizing soup that does it all! Chilly breeze calmed
with a bowl of hot soup is the most soothing and complementing combination to have in
winters. Indeed, winters have arrived and so has the trend of getting our taste buds take
pleasure from a wide range of soups before almost every meal. Regardless of the age and
culture, the warmth of soups on a cold night under our cozy comforters is an experience
that remains homogenous yet unfathomable to everyone.
Yet, what Huma Khan, a working wife, learned from the story is, “Soups are the easiest
and filling food that I prepare hurriedly for me and my husband, which are nutritious,
tempting and the least time-consuming all together”. It is quite interesting to note that
many a people intentionally make their respective diet plans in winters and consider
soups as it’s essential and sometimes, the only component. “Winters make the best time
in the whole year when I really get to be healthy while rigidly following my diet pattern”,
Khan adds gleefully.
The journey of soups that started from a meal only accommodating the sick and the
elderly for its light constituents made its way promptly to appeal to the tastes of people of
all ages with gradual yet multiple variations according to the diverse interests. It is rather
amusing to know that the earliest restaurants were actually the soup houses. It was merely
these soups, which were called to be restorantes, today’s restaurants and they eventually
evolved to be a place offering main meals in the eighteenth century. More amusingly, one
tends to ‘eat’ soup in English, while ‘drink’ it in Japanese on the other hand. Wherever
this diversity might take us to, the popularity of soups would remain timeless. The list of
varieties goes on from mixed vegetables soups to soups made from specific vegetables to
retain the taste, from meat/chicken soups to soups made with bones, from seafood soups
to rice soups, from thick creamy soups to soups made from well-seasoned stock and
noodles and the list goes on varying from region to region bringing to us mouth-watering
Nevertheless, the other side of the picture reflects the same sort of merriness. Apparently,
soups do not only bring joy to the ones who have them, but they also prove to be
lucrative on part of the culinary business dealers. “Winters are what we look forward
to”, says Bahadur Ali who works as a cook at a local catering service provider. “More
people tend to place orders of different kinds of soups for their weddings and other events
according to their budgets”, he explains. Ali cites that this is the season when their work
hours increase as soft drinks tend to be substituted with a variety of soups, which adds up
as an extra task along with an extra amount of money in comparison to the former.
Soups ideal to this season are, mixed vegetable soups, potato and carrot soups, pasta
bean soups and sweetened red bean soups that help in warming the body in wintertime.
Above all, chicken corn soup and hot and sour have an all-time favorite preference of
kids and elders alike. As a matter of fact, the simplest and the easiest part of preparing
soups is that it could be prepared even with the left over bits and pieces combined with
hot water and adding the required flavor to the broth. The readily accessible packets of
soup mixtures with rich flavors these days have made the task more effortless making
the whole soup experience even pleasurable, nutritional and mistake-proof. Although,
the nutritional value of soups primarily depends upon the ingredients made to use, but,
majority of the soups provide us with carbohydrates, proteins, fats, a lot of minerals and
Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul might have incorporated 101 inspirational
stories for every living individual’s development but an actual hot soup of any genre
on a cold day has no comparison. May it be eaten or drunk; and no matter if a bowl of
hot soup is considered simply as an appetizer or it assumes a banquet status, it remains
the winter’s ecstasy and makes the season absolutely delightful. This multicultural meal
makes us believe that soup is indeed, grand on a cold day.
Published in the Express Tribune on December 26, 2010.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
4:39 PM Shairose Ukanji 1 comment