A recent Twitter prompt set a serious soup discussion in motion. Twitter user @MadScientistFF tweeted an image of twelve different soups, asking followers which one they’d choose to eat. Simple enough, right?
Tomato, chicken noodle, clam chowder, Minestrone, French onion, broccoli cheddar, matzo ball, wonton, tortilla, lobster bisque, pho, and lentil. It’s unclear why these are the twelve soups on offer, but thousands of likes, replies, and quote-tweets later, it’s clear that they spur strong opinions.
Some people, like my own brother, would argue that soup is not a meal because it is not filling enough. But those people don’t seem to understand the comfort and satisfaction of a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup loaded with poultry and veggies. The Twitter universe seems to agree with me on soup’s potential, but no one can agree on which soup stands above the rest.
Most of the responses to the original tweet were unequivocal, full of conviction. A survey of the replies indicates that French onion, broccoli cheddar, tomato , and clam chowder had some of the most vocal proponents. Matzo ball, wonton, lentil, and tortilla didn’t have as many enthusiastic supporters.
Interestingly, each of the lesser mentioned soups have roots in a particular culture that might categorize them as “ethnic cuisine” in the eyes of many American consumers. This doesn’t necessarily make them less desirable; instead, it’s just not what people are most familiar with. Soup is a comfort food, so it makes sense that you top pick is influenced by whatever stokes feelings of nostalgia.
Besides, the list of soups, while it has a decent variety, can’t possibly cover the vast array that deserve a share of the spotlight. Some Twitter users highlighted ramen, sopa de fideo (a Mexican noodle soup), and chicken wild rice soup. Here at The Takeout, we know a little something about loving so many different types of soup that it’s difficult to choose just one, or just a dozen. Where’s the Italian Wedding Soup? The Pozole? The creams of mushroom or chicken soup? You just can’t encompass an entire category of food in one internet meme.
The original poster would seem to agree with that. “So many soups hit so many different levels of needs,” they tweeted in response to someone who listed several best soups, each one a “favorite” depending on the situation.
It’s a fun discussion, and I am certainly left craving a big, hot bowl of soup. But with such an endless list of options and so many arguments to be made, it’s one of those conversations that, unlike a bowl of soup, will never satisfy anyone at all.