This may come as a shock, but this week, rather than share my complaints on a subject, I’d like to argue in favor of an opinion of my own. Fear not, dear readers—I am still the hater you know and love. I don’t like soup. But instead of telling you all the reasons I despise it, I will instead tell you how soup could become worthy of existence.
The trouble with soup is that it is deceptive. When I see chicken noodle soup, I expect chicken and noodles. Instead, I am greeted with carrots and celery, both hateful vegetables. Every component of a soup should be listed in the name. The knowledge this would give me is invaluable.
When I see a recipe for soup in a cookbook or a listing for soup on a menu, I want to know exactly what I’m getting. For example, when I order the Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup from Panera, I expect chicken and rice, and I get them. But I also get carrots and celery, which seem to be repeat offenders in the world of sneaky soup ingredients. The Clam Stew from tasteofhome.com should actually be called Clam-Swiss Chard-Chorizo-Cannellini Beans-Corn Stew. This would remove any doubt about what is in the recipe.
While this may seem like it’s just a way to clutter up the labels on soup cans, including every ingredient in the name of a soup could actually be helpful for those with dietary restrictions. Vegetarians could avoid clicking on a recipe for “Vegetable Soup,”, struggling through pages upon pages of ads, only to discover that “Vegetable Soup” was actually “Vegetable Soup With Some Ground Turkey.” This would cut time spent on finding new ideas for dinner in half. Those with food allergies or intolerances would be able to utilize the new names in a similar way. Imagine a world in which you don’t have to flag down a waiter to ask them about the ingredients in the soup you want to order, only for them to disappear into the kitchen because they don’t know anything about the menu and have to ask the cook.
While I can’t speak for the vegetarians, as I love meat, nor can I speak for people with food allergies, because I am genetically superior, I can speak for the third subset that this change would benefit—the picky eaters. I won’t die if my soup contains secret potatoes, but my entire week will be ruined. I only like foods where I know exactly what every bite will taste like, and deceitful soup names make every bowl a minefield.
To the soup companies—why must you trick me? I only want to know what I’m about to eat with just a quick glance at the label. You are making me read the ingredients (in a very small font I might add), and I can’t condone that kind of behavior.
Do you have an unconventional opinion that you’re too scared to share for fear of rejection? Send it over to me at email@example.com, and I’ll broadcast it to the world. I’ve got nothing to lose.