Leah McFall… on the soup. Yes, really, soup

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Leah McFall has some really important soup questions.

Leah McFall has some really important soup questions.

OPINION: Why does the soup still exist? To begin with, that is. I have no problem with this as a main meal. Soups like ramen, borscht or pho make a living and besides, someone who eats soup on their own usually has a good reason for choosing it. They might have a cold. They walk above the level of the snow and need to feel it coming back to their hands. Or it is simply a gourmet, spoiled by the experience, who expects the soup to be surprising instead of what it is, that is to say broth, a dominant vegetable and indeed a garnish. useless, except to express the personality of the chef.

The soup is stubborn. It never left. It’s as much of a staple today as it was 100 years ago, when the people serving it tasted terrible and lacked the confidence to take unnecessary dishes off the table. An Edwardian dinner might have seven, nine, or 12 courses and soup was one of them, along with jellied meat. But we don’t eat a tongue in the asp anymore because we recognize it’s clammy and disgusting. It is out of fashion with blancmange. So why does the soup class last, without blinking, little changed, unwilling to recognize the times? The soup is the tuatara on the restaurant menu.

Looks like the soup should have worn off at least for a while before it made a comeback. Like the cup of lettuce.

The lettuce cup has been legit again for some time now, having disappeared for years with no explanation. I’m not sure anyone missed him while he was gone, but he’s back anyway, without a hint of irony. People order it without laughing, and for that I blame Nadia Lim, who is also responsible for the cilantro revival. For about three years, Nadia Lim threw cilantro in everything – including, presumably, the cup of lettuce. But cilantro is seeing a backlash, as it’s now the herb family’s city bike. All the major food groups have circled it around the block.

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For me, cutting lettuce has always been a waste of time. Whoever sat down patted his stomach and said, “Couldn’t I eat another cup of lettuce”? Nobody stops eating them because they fill up. They stop eating them because they are boring. Plus, at the end of the day, I’m fed up with eating the thing that holds the other thing. Like I’m not doing enough for people already. Cutting lettuce is existentially too much.

The soup, however, is much more offensive. It lifts your hopes so early in the evening. You’ve just arrived at the restaurant, your lipstick is still perfect, you’ve had half a glass of prosecco and you feel like a competitor. This night holds many possibilities. This night will take hours; its vanishing point is a glimmer in the distance. When the waiter arrives, you are totally done. Of course, you will order the soup before the main course! It’s the natural thing to do!

The soup is the tuatara on the restaurant menu.

Henrique Félix / Unsplash

The soup is the tuatara on the restaurant menu.

And yet no one ever says, “I wonder what the soup will be? on the way to a restaurant. No one ever walks away from a restaurant saying, “I can’t believe I didn’t order this soup.”

When the waiter brings the dessert menu, your evening will take a dip. You will find that you cannot order a pudding because earlier you ordered the soup. I can’t tell you how many times I had to give up dessert because I was full of soup, yet dessert is the reason I go to restaurants.

The soup is the problem, not the main course. I’ve had all the main meals, from a cow’s side to a scribble of moss, and its size doesn’t matter because your brain doesn’t realize you’ve eaten it yet. But the soup? You’ve basically been a skin tureen for an hour. Your organs are imbued with it.

Forget the pralines, meringues, cakes. It will not be for you to experience it. You spent $ 100 on a babysitter, to go out for soup. You won’t be able to agree with me on this because your sophistication is important to you. But I believe that children are our future and that their instincts are ready to recognize disappointment and pretense.

My daughter is 9 years old. Her school offers lunch options if you order in advance and this term choices include ‘winter soup’.

“What’s in the winter soup?” I asked recently, and she shrugged. “I don’t know,” she said, barely looking up. “Nobody gets the soup.”


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