Travel through soup

Yes, I know… writing an article about soup can seem strange. Even more from me because I’m not interested in cooking and not good at it. Not at all. Everything happens… But for a reason.


Last summer, I was one month in Cyprus for EVS project, living with 12 people from 6 different countries. One day, we were thinking about what to cook when the Romanian girl suggested to make a soup. « A soup? In the middle of summer in Cyprus where it’s more than 30 degrees? ». That was my reaction.

Then, now you know why I decided writing about soup. After this missunderstanding with Diana, the Romanian volunteer, I wanted to know more about the « culture of soup » in different countries, so I asked my friends from abroad : « Do you eat soup the whole year ? What kind of soup ? As a starter ? During lunch or dinner ?… ». They surely found my questions weird, but they answered !

Diana from Romania explained me that they eat hot soup during the whole year as a starter. That’s why she wanted to make soup this summer ! Most of the time it’s vegetables soups and they eat it putting “găluște” (semolina dumplings) inside. Actually this is kind of the same in Estonia. Ann told me told me that she eats soup the whole year because it’s rather cold there and also easy to make. But not necessarily as a starter : depends how filling it is. There are many different soups but the most popular ones are mushrooms for the autumn, Pea soup, Seljanka and Borš. And with that, don’t forget bread and sour cream ! Then I asked Nika to know about the culture of soup in Slovenia. Nothing really different there : you can eat soup the whole year too… but mostly in winter. About the tastes : beef meat, vegetables and mushrooms.

Then, Paulina told me about the quite strong culture of eating soup in Poland. “We eat soups whole year and they are usually the same type like chicken, broth, tomato, cucumber, vegetables, tripe, fish, mushroom , cabbage. Usually we eat soups with bread but not always. During the winter soups are usually more fatty and with more components. You can make soup almost from everything. Usually dinner consists of two meals : soup and some meat dish. Sometimes even only soup as main dish. During the most important celebration like Christmas and Easter we start dinner by eating soup. On Christmas it is borscht made from beetroot and during Easter is sour rye soup.” Polish people are that crazy about soup that every region in Poland has specifics ones and in Warsaw there are even festival of world soups! One of the most controversial traditional soup is czernina – made mainly from blood of duck or chicken. Many people say that soups are Polish national and culture heritage.

So, actually all my friends said me that they eat soup the whole year… Should I understand that this makes french people weird ? Because In my head, soup is associated with cold weather and winter… That’s why I reacted like a told you with Diana ! In France the first soup of the year mark the beginning of winter. We eat soup with vegetables, it’s rare to eat meat soup. Most of the time we put cheese, cream or crouton in it ! (Cause French dish without cheese or bread is not a real French dish)


Then, let’s travel in the south : in Spain people eat different soups according to the weather and the location ! For example in summer is very typical the cold soup like Gazpacho or Salmorejo. It’s usually made from vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, onion, etc. During the winter people come back to the traditional hot soup with vegetables, meat or fish… But the type of soup depends on the location ! Even more in the south let’s go in Algeria with Aïda who told me about the main soup called Chorba. There is differents type of Chorba but the most popular is Chorba frik (made with cracked wheat). During the month of Ramadan, they eat soup every evening even in summer !

That’s amazing to see how we can discover the culture of different countries through insignificant things like soup ! Now let’s travel to test all these traditional soups…

Chloe Dumeusois


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