The Pleasures of Soup
by Melissa Clark
There was soup before Seinfeld, it's just that no one ever talked about it much. People slurped their soup du jour at diner counters, mixed cans of cream of celery into tuna casseroles, got spoon fed Grandma's chicken noodle for a cold, and, in the eighties, savored chilled cantaloupe soups in summer. Soup was always good food, but it was never a craze on its own. Until now. With the blossoming of storefront soup parlors like Daily Soup and The Soup Nutsy, legions of office workers are lining up for their brown bag lunches, filled with the likes of crab and corn chowder, Indian red lentil, and wild mushroom consommé, packed in loving mama fashion with a hunk of good bread, a piece of fruit, and a cookie to round it out. So what is it lately about soup that makes grownups fight over the last cup of lobster saffron bisque at Daily Soup? Or complain bitterly should the free cookie and shiny red apple be accidentally left out of their bags?
Well, for one, soup tastes good. It goes down easy, warms the spirit, soothes the mind, and reminds the flesh that winter is only skin deep, especially when the November winds bare their teeth. Who isn't better prepared to face the chill of the midtown tunnel effect when their internal fire has been stoked with a paper cup full of fragrant hot soup?
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