for & against

For & Against: Soup

25 September 2017

FOR BY ELIZABETH HAIGH

Soup is by far the greatest food that has ever existed. Not only is it cheap and easy to prepare, here are four more reasons why you should consume this wonderful creation.

Health Benefits
Hot soup is the perfect thing to soothe a sore throat. Studies have even found that chicken soup can help cure a nasty cold. So next time you reach for the cough syrup, remember, soup is a natural solution that can also double as a meal.

Flavour
There are so many types of soups out there, the list is endless. Soup can cater for any palette. You can literally put any combination of foods into a broth and guarantee that someone will love it! Take Kiburu Soup, a broth made by the Chagga tribe, that live at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. This soup is made from bananas, beans, twigs and dirt. Or spare a thought for anyone who has been served a bowl of Menudo, a traditional Mexican soup made from a cow’s stomach, that can act as a cure for hangovers. However, you can rest assured there are classic variations on this timeless meal that everyone can enjoy such as classic creamy pumpkin or potato and leek.

Convenience
Soup is one of those rare foods that is both a meal and a drink.  You can have it at the dinner table with toast or crackers, you can have it in a mug or you can pour chilled soup in your drink bottle and take it to lectures (no-one will know).
Social convention also allows you to put anything into a pot of steaming stock, serve it in a bowl and call it soup. Take fruit bat soup served on the Islands of Palau – if you happen to have a spare fruit bat or two around the house, whack it in a pot with some coconut milk, ginger and spices, boil it for two hours and BAM you have a tasty and convenient treat for everyone to enjoy.

Fragrance
If you step into a room where soup is being made, you will know straight away. The sensation of walking into a kitchen that has soup being cooked in it will remind you of cold winter days at home with your mother.

Soup is a blessing, and we all must strive to be worthy of it.

 

AGAINST BY SEBASTIAN DODDS

When the editors of this here student mag came to me, askingme to write an argument against soup, I had to question their motives. At first I thought this was pure character assassination – after all, who could argue against soup? It’s a dish beloved the world over; variations of the ‘food but you drink it’ pitch present in every continent and culture2. Yes, I thought, this is surely the Media Officers’ attempt to cut me down to size. One too many ‘suggestions’, too few ‘wow you guys are great’.

Well, I took the bait and here I am. Let’s begin with the obvious: have you ever, in your entire life, heard the word ‘soup’ used as a positive description for something? Didn’t think so. ‘Soup’ and ‘soupy’ are only ever brought out in conversation to describe something that’s a bit too much. Thick, cold, dank fog? A real pea-souper. Sticky, humid summer storm? Soupy. Soup has become tainted in the cultural consciousness by its own sloppy, tepid blandness.

The reason for this is that deep down we know soup ain’t all that. We know it’s kind of gross to slurp up a dish that (probably) came about by accident that one time a caveman overcooked the proto-tomatoes he was simmering over a haphazard fire and just thought ug urrr gruhht krorp3.

And now we’ve got fuckwads like Hector Blueballs all over shows like Masterchef, making soup out of cat piss and bad dreams that turn your skin bright blue because ‘it’s an experience, mannnnnnn’. Who the fuck is even ordering soup at restaurants? You can make that shit at home BY ACCIDENT. You don’t need Bestold Hoosgonebald turning your skin inside out through orgiastic soup-transcendence. How far does the carnage have to go before people wake up to the grotesque excess that soup has become? How long am I going to have to put up with Heather Boobs’n’All appearing on Masterchef season after season?4

1 Begging
2 Probably. I didn’t fact-check this at all.
3 Translated: Fuck it, I’ll eat this slop anyway because these proto-tomatoes are a real bitch to hunt.
4 Also, his glasses are fucking dumb. He looks like he’s cosplaying the old guy from Up (2009). He thinks he’s somehow a world-renowned chef because he gimmicks the shit out of all his food. I promise I don’t just hate him because my parents didn’t take me to his restaurant when it came to Australia and instead took their good friends of several decades, the selfish pricks. Fuck you Helpless Beachball.


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