If we look at the word “soup” in the English dictionary, we find its meaning explained as “the nutritious liquid obtained by boiling meat or vegetables in stock, ” in which the English dictionary is strangely inaccurate. The meat or the vegetables must be boiled in plain water, and the stock is the liquid resulting from the coction.
It seems that, in England, soups, especially the warming, nourishing vegetable soups so pleasant in the winter, are not given on the menus the place they deserve. A soup need not be a tasteless and watery concoction in which float aimlessly odd pieces of unrecognisable things or a thick and sickly matter in which flour tries to look and taste like cream. It must simply be either a clear or thick soup, and it must, above all, retain the specific flavour of the ingredients which are its bases. The ubiquitous “gravy soup” is a perfect example of what a soup should not be, being neither a gravy nor a soup.