Pea-and-Parsnip Vichyssoise with Tarragon
From the Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup to Seinfeld’s inimitable Soup Nazi, the word soup can take on so many nuances that I thought to look it up in the dictionary. I found the following:
- Alphabet Soup is a term often used to describe a large number of acronyms used by an administration; it has its roots in a common tomato-based soup containing pasta shaped in the letters of the alphabet.
- Primordial soup is a term used to describe the organic mixture that led to the development of life on earth.
- A soup kitchen is a place that serves prepared food of any kind to the homeless.
- Pea soup describes a thick or dense fog.
- Soup legs is an informal or slang term used by athletes to describe fatigue or exhaustion.
- “Stone Soup” is a popular children’s fable.
- Duck soup is a term to describe a task that is particularly easy.
- Word soup refers to any collection of words that is ostensibly incomprehensible.
- Soup Fire! can be used as an expression of surprise.
- Soupe du jour is French for “soup of the day.” Sometimes used as a metaphor for anything currently trendy or fashionable.
- Soup to nuts is an American-English idiom conveying “from beginning to end” (see: full-course dinner).
- “Soup’s on!” or “Soup’s up!” is a common phrase used to say that dinner is ready.
- Soup sandwich is a pejorative US military slang term, typically used to admonish a trooper for poor work or shoddy appearance. The term comes from the concept that a sandwich made out of soup would be a sloppy mess.
- To soup something up is to improve it, or increase its power (most often used with cars)
It’s so boring to point out that even in warm weather, you can enjoy cold soups that are as refreshing as they are simple to make. Yadda yadda yadda. But true. I make gazpacho every week and keep it in the fridge, and love pureeing cucumber, dill, yogurt, hot chile, lemon juice and celery into a classic Turkish summer soup. But vichyssoise has the sexiest story. The French chef Jules Gouffé created a recipe for a hot potato-and-leek soup, publishing a version in The Royal Cookery Book (1869). Louis Diat, the great chef at New York City’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, claimed to enjoy it as a young child. In 1950, Diat told The New Yorker: “In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato-and-leek soup of my childhood that my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how, during the summer, my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.” I like the idea of a chef making a comforting recipe based on a childhood memory, and experimenting at the customers’ expense.—Andrew Zimmern
Slideshow: Cold Soup Recipes
Slideshow: More Spring Soup Recipes