It’s time for soup. Always and at all hours. “Souping is the new juicing” announced The New York Times at the start of the year and it appears to be spreading from the States around the planet, one spoon at a time.
What is Souping?
From the viewpoint of physical wellbeing, the keyword is: detox. All the beneficial properties of pulses and vegetables, proteins, vitamins and the like are blended together in what is, broadly speaking, an extremely healthy and economical option, and also rich in fibre and cooked to make it more digestible. The sugar content is provided by the complex carbohydrate variety and not simple fruit sugar. And, unlike a juice that is knocked back at the speed of thirst, soups are eaten slowly, resulting in a pleasing sensation of fullness.
The Key to Success
On the subject of sensorial pleasure, consistency is vitally important when it comes to soup: it can be more or less creamy and liquid according to the recipe, but never solid enough to prevent the purification process, nor too liquid to make the consumer feel deprived of a proper meal. During the summer, in the northern hemisphere, cocktails underwent a solidification process: mojito, daiquiri, cosmopolitan and margaritas were being served by top barmen and chefs in a foody version, in consistencies that were more or less solid, more or less foamy, in a creative impulse that could even be defined as tending towards “Negroni soup.”
Soup Restaurants Around the World
From Singapore to Genoa, and from Reykjavic to Bruges, soup restaurants are becoming all the rage. In London, the debate is on about where the best soup can be eaten, while in New York, ratings are published on the best soups in the city. In France, the winning consistency is that of bouillon.
The restaurant business has firmly grasped the spoon. It is not just a question of offering menus focused on soup. Too easy! Here is a prime example: Zoup! was established almost 20 years ago and today it is a chain offering a choice of 12 soups every day in 88 locations distributed throughout the northern US and Ontario, Canada.
Bouillon, consommé, broth and stock are under the spotlight thanks also to some international top chefs: these preparations are appearing with increasing frequency on the menus of some of the best chefs in the world, from Heston Blumenthal to the Italian Andrea Berton.
Souping and Detoxing
Authentic “souping,” however, is a soup version of detoxing that offers genuine detox battle plans, whose protagonists are armed with ladles. Starting from The Big Apple, the Splendid Spoon suggests “plant based plans” for detoxing, inviting you to put your trust in its steaming, ready-to-eat bowlfuls. Soupelina in Los Angeles follows a similar concept and at the start of the year, it released a book entitled “Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse,” in which the chef shares her soup detox dietary secrets, lasting from three to five days.
Soupure in California has even expanded its activity to deliver all over the country. The company also specialises in purifying soup-based programmes: it supplies liquid kits to replace solid meals with consistencies that vary between soups, broths and alkaline waters to be consumed on a rotation basis.
This is “souping,” a cleansing diet to follow a certain number of times a year. Will it continue to attract followers outside of the US? What is for sure is that the soup consistency is back, at mealtimes, between meals, instead of a meal and it might be worth a bet that, when the cold weather sets in, it can only become more tempting.