The joys of soup

Apr 15, 2022

When I was a few decades younger, I used to wonder why older people were always eating soup. Soup seemed so boring. With so many other things to eat, why soup? Did it have magical powers? Did soup make you wiser? Did it help you save money or perhaps make you appear younger? There must be some reason older people were always having soup. 

Perhaps it goes back to childhood.

Back in the ‘50s, soup was a staple in our family. We didn’t have much money, so throughout the week, my mother put just about everything into her cauldron of soup. Her soup went on for days. It started with chicken bones. Over the next several days, she might add leftover meatloaf, fish sticks, pizza, old cheese, stale crackers and anything else she was reluctant to discard from the fridge. 

There were always those unwanted peas and carrots that my sister and I refused to eat. It was edible, hot and filling, and for a family with six kids, my mom was able to stretch her budget for days at a time.

Now that I’m older, I am understanding the joys of soup. It not only takes me back to my childhood, but it’s practical too. If you hate cooking like I do, going to the market is a chore. 

Therefore, soup is the perfect food. 

Why hunt for a bunch of unpronounceable ingredients at the store when you can simply go down the soup aisle, grab a can or two and go? Of course, at some markets, they’re always moving things around, which is horrible for those of us who are older and hate to cook.

And soup is so easy. You don’t have to worry about burning it unless you are someone like me. Because I get distracted so easily, I have to remind myself to stay in the kitchen when I’m making soup. Otherwise, I might forget about it, and it will be overflowing all over the stove. Imagine if I tried to cook an entire meal? 

Soup is so easy to eat.  If you’ve got arthritis or other physical limitations, soup is the perfect food for you. When my thumbs bother me from being on the computer too long, soup has been a lifesaver. Few utensils are required.

If you have a mouth issue, soup comes in handy. Once, I had a crown put in and I ended up with fifteen canker sores from the botched procedure.  I could only eat liquids for about two weeks, so soup was my go-to meal along with Ensure, jello and a variety of baby food.

Soup is filling and can suffice as an entire meal. I prefer lentil soup, split pea or any other soup that looks like sludge. All that fibre has other redeeming qualities as well if you catch my drift. 

Soup is cheap. You could spend $18 on a steak, but soup will fill you up for far less. $18 of soup will probably feed you for two years. Now that’s an economic advantage!

My mother-in-law is 93 and lives with us. She absolutely loves soup. If I try to fix her something else, she usually frowns.

“Got any soup?”

She prefers Campbell’s chicken noodle, but if we’re out of soup, she’s ok with Campbell’s spaghettiOs, Chef Boyardee ravioli, or any other brand from the ‘50s that she remembers. They give her comfort, perhaps reminding her of happier times when her memory was intact.

I’m sure some of you have heard the joke about the popularity of soup. At an assisted living facility, a  sexy woman knocks on an older man’s door.

“Would you like some Super Sex?”

“Oh, I’d prefer the soup,” he replies.

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