Whether it’s Vichyssoise (the French cooks can argue over who invented it) or Pho in Asia, borscht in Russia, or chicken noodle in the United States, every culture has a signature soup. Canned stews first appeared on store shelves in the late 18th century. In 1897, Campbell Soup Company scientist Dr. John T. Dorrance revolutionized the soup industry by developing condensed soup. Joseph Campbell, a fruit trader from New Jersey, and Abraham Andrews, an early icebox maker, founded the business in 1869 to produce canned fruits, veggies, jams, soups, chopped meats, and sauces. They are still the biggest creator of ready-to-eat and tinned soups. Condensed soups weren’t presented towards the American public until approximately 30 years later, but they were an instant hit because housewives could easily modify the flavor by adding their own ingredients or passing them off as handmade.
Campbell’s Tomato Soup (the original soup, debuted in 1897) and Cream of
The two most common types of broth are mushroom and chicken noodle (which first appeared on menus in 1934).
in the U.S. 2.5 billion cups of these three are consumed annually in the United States.
stews every year, not to add the countless dishes that call for the ubiquitous Cream of Mushroom.
particularly numerous casseroles during the winter holidays. The Progresso Soup Company, established in 1925, produces the most widely consumed canned soups (to which water is merely added), and the Lipton Tea Company, better known for its beverages, produces dry soup mixtures that can be prepared as soup, decided to add to meat bread, or combined into sauces and condiments. And of course, the substantial and satisfying matzo ball broth is a classic Jewish dish.
American palates have never taken to chilly stews like the Spanish gazpacho or the French potato broth Vichyssoise.
nations, particularly in the summer. The Nordic Countries
enjoy chilled fruit stews as a palate cleanser or dessert. Across
For centuries in Europe, potages, or substantial stews, have been a go-to comfort food.
big groups of people and have been a cheap meal for a long time.
recycling of edible food leftovers and animal byproducts.
Pho is a popular dish in Vietnam that is typically prepared with meat, vermicelli, and veggies. As a result of its success as a market dish in Vietnam, pho has recently become a staple in many eateries around the globe. Miso, hot and sour, and egg drop soups are also common as a calming first dish to an Asian dinner. Tossing leftover noodles, grains, and vegetables into a pot of simmering soup is a great way to use them up, and adding some leftover poultry or meat turns the soup into a satisfying dinner. Almost anybody can open and close a can of pureed tomatoes, slap in some water or milk, and maybe some sour cream, and throw in some vegetables and noodles to cook. And nothing beats reminiscing about our childhood while enjoying a toasted cheese sandwich and a bowl of Campbell’s Tomato Soup for lunch.
Nothing surpasses a large cup of soup to alleviate discomfort, clear congestion, and make us feel comfortable and cherished, regardless of whether it’s a viscous mixture of beans and pork hocks, a rich shellfish chowder, a bowl of marinara sauce with a toasted cheese sandwich, as well as good old chicken noodle. Feel free to stock up on tinned broth; no one will look down on you if you buy a bunch. It’s just the American way, after all. The soup’s on!
(The author’s mother prepared a mean cream of celery broth, for the record.)
was always her favorite song; despite its time-consuming nature, she has yet to find a replacement.
As a child, author Dale Philip ate her mother’s delicious stews. They were served as a standard meal alongside substantial bread, and no expense was spared on flavorful meats and crisp vegetables.