When summer comes to an end and the days get cooler, there’s no better way to warm up than with a delicious bowl of soup! Soup dates back to the 18th century. A large amount could be made on the cheap and could feed a lot of people. Historically, soup was used as a test of character. If you were a good person, you shared your soup. If you didn’t share your warm, brothy meal, you were considered selfish.

There are three main types of soups: clear or brothy, creamy or thick, and cold. All soups begin with stock or broth. Clear soups can contain vegetables, meat and beans. Cream soups start off the same as a clear soup but also include cream or a thickening agent such as a roux. Some examples of creamy or thick soups are bisque, gumbo and stew. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be cold outside to enjoy soup. Cold soups are also delicious and refreshing to eat. They can be savory or sweet and even eaten as dessert!

Each region of the world has their own types of soup. In New England, clam chowder defines the region. French Onion was created in France, of course, but has gained momentum all over the world. The Chinese use chicken broth based soup, adding deliciously filled wontons. And finally, thanks to the Spanish, gazpacho is one of the most popular cold soups enjoyed today.

Soup is one of the most convenient meals available. It’s easy to find canned soups that are microwave ready, dry mixes and even packaged as a drink for eating on the go. Don’t be shy stocking up on good old fashioned chicken soup as it has healing and soothing properties when you are sick.

So the next time you experience a writer’s block type of feeling when trying to plan dinner, try your hand at whipping up a pot of soup. It’s easy, fun and nearly fool proof.

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