A soup is a liquid dish prepared from vegetables, fish, chicken or meat stock combined with other flavored ingredients. The origin of the word “soup” can be traced back to the Teutonic term, suppa, a Medieval thick stew poured on slices of bread or granulated crumbs called sop. Soups are traditionally divided in to the ‘clear’ or ‘thick’ types, and can be either vegetarian or not. The invention of canning in the 19th century was responsible for the initial commercializing of soup in the food market.
Today, the most common types of retail soup products can be classified as follows:
- Ready-to-serve soups, also commonly known as RTS soups, are the most preferred soups of today because of their convenience.
- Condensed wet soups, on the other hand, need some preparation by adding an equal amount of water or some type of liquid.
- Dry or dehydrated soups also need some preparation and contain agglomerated starches that dissolve easily in hot liquids.
- Refrigerated soups have the shortest shelf life, and often the foundation is a mixture of stock made from mirepoix and bouquet garni.
- Frozen soups have a conveniently longer shelf life.
- Ramen is a simple type of noodle in bouillon or broth, usually dehydrated.
Soups are popular among consumers as filling and tasty dishes that can be both healthy and inexpensive. Consumption of low-energy dense foods such as soups can lead to long-term health and weight loss benefits.