Delicious, aromatic and consistent, soups play a very important role in nutrition. In soups you can find a huge concentration of ingredients, seasonings, flavors and procedures capable of fulfilling the functions of a full meal.
By combining ingredients in a large pot such as vegetables, meat, or fish with stock, water, or juice to create a nutritious, easily digested, filling, simple to make and serve food is what is known as “Soup.” Other characteristic of soups is the boiling of solid ingredients in liquids inside a pot until a broth is formed by extracting all the flavors. Soups can be separated into two groups: Thick & Clear soups. Soups are consumed at dinner time, and can be eaten as an appetizer, as a snack o be the whole meal as well. Clear soups include bouillon and consommé, Thick soups can be classified depending on the ingredients used in their preparation like starch to thicken vegetable soups, Pureeing shellfish and vegetables thicken with cream gives you the famous brisques, To make cream soups, you have to thicken them with veloutes or béchamel sauce. Soups can also be thickened with the help of flour, grains, lentils and rice.
Stews and Soups are very similar; the only difference between the two is that soup is more liquid than stews.
There is evidence of the existence of soup in the world and it can be traced as far back as 6000 B.C, boiling was not a common practice because there were no waterproof containers until they were invented (either pouches made of animal skin or clay vessels.) In Mexico archeological evidence demonstrates that cooking in Mesoamerica dates back between the years 2500 and 1500 A.C. Aztecs would cook their food two-handled clay pots or jars called xoctli in Nahuatl and translated into Spanish as olla ("pot"). The olla was filled with food and heated over a fire.
Two soups that were inherited by the Aztecs to the Mexican people and are still enjoyed today are Pozole or posole and Atolli or Atole a maize (corn) based meal that was consumed either to quench one's thirst or as an instant meal in liquid form. Pozole was made with human flesh, obtained by the prisoners of war that were sacrificed and dismembered in the temples. They would then boil the meat with maize to create this meal. It wasn’t until the Spanish conquest that this custom was stopped, and human flesh was replaced by pork meat which was said to resemble the taste of human meat. Pozole can also be made with chicken or beef. With the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, new ingredients were brought into the New World and Mexican cuisine was expanded. New flavors, dishes and Soups were born, with the French influence in the Spanish conquistadors new types of soups were incorporated into Mexican gastronomy like boullions, consomme’s, brisques, cream soups and many more. Pastas were also included to the menu and now we can find alphabet soup, stars, elbows, penne, shells and the famous fideo noodles. One of Mexico’s signature soups is Tortilla Soup made with Mexico’s staple food tortillas. Menudo and albondigas are other types of Mexican soups and you can find them right here at MexGrocer.com in brands like Juanitas, Knorr, Maggi and Mi Viejita.
Why is it that we eat soup instead of drinking it? Soup is considered part of the meal, and as such it has to be eaten. Its also part of the rules of etiquette. Soup is consumed with a spoon instead of sipped from the plate in most cultures, whether the soup is chunky, clear, thick or creamy.