He Said / She Said: SOUP

Posted on April 28, 2011


He Said / She Said lets us hear different perspectives on the same topic.  This week:

Juan thinks it’s soup-er duper.  Jenny’s more of a Mafalda.  Here’s the scoop on SOUP.


We agree: la mariscada = yum!


He SaidHE said:

What can I tell about soup…. I LOVE SOUP.  We have a cartoon in Latin America named MAFALDA by the artist Quino, it’s a political satire that uses childlike innocent jokes about reality… well, Mafalda hates soup.

We have had many conversations about soup with JJ.  Why do we eat so much soup here in El Salvador?  As example, bean soup, beef soup, tripe soup (which takes 12 hours to be ready!), chicken soup, free range hen soup… we even make soup out of leaves and chorizo!  Since historically Salvadoran food is not baked but stewed or fried in animal fat, it is just an easy way of making a yummy meal with different flavors.  And when prepared in clay pots, it’s even tastier.  With all the herbs and vegetables and different meats (including the famous “Garrobo en Alhuaste” Soup — iguana prepared in a pumpkin seed powder) you can get a large variety of soups.  Even when we go to the beach we have Mariscadas (with lobster and fruit of the sea), even though it’s so hot, people from ES will be always soup lovers all around the year!

“Here in America…” someone told me once, jejeje, people are used to eating soup as a winter meal, or chicken soup when cold (like that book, chicken soup for the soul??).  I have to say that I had a great experience and I also learned to make great soups in the States, such as one of my favorites, Carrot & Ginger Soup.  I also ate Beet Soup, and many others at the famous Potlucks …  And as well, due to the diversity, I had the opportunity of eating the great Ming’s Pho Soup, that helped me so much to get over the hard Minnesota winter…. Well my friends, what can I say, contrary to Mafalda, I am a soup LOVER, all year round :)!!

P.S. Today I had a KILLER clam chowder, mmmmm, pure vitamin to this poor mortal!


She SaidSHE said:

Now don’t get me wrong, I like soup.  I like a thick, hearty soup on a cold winter’s night, on that gives me the same soft feeling of warmth and comfort as an armchair by the fireplace or an oversized cable-knit sweater.  I like a pumpkinny or squashy fall-flavored soup that matches the orange of October leaves.  I like a light, veggie-and-herb-infused soup in springtime (like this one).  I like a cool gazpacho in summer.  Point is, I like soup.  You might call me a soup fan.

But what IS it with Latin American soups?!  I just don’t understand them. In the first place, how can people stand eating a hot soup in hot weather?  On a 90 degree day, for instance, people gather together in the highest heat of the afternoon to slurp such concoctions as Sopa de Gallina, Sopa de Pata, Sopa de Espinaca.  When I’m already glistening from the humidity, no thank you, I’ll pass on that hot soup.  Me, I like my summer soups chilled.  Leave that hot stuff for winter.  Oh, that’s right — in El Salvador there IS no winter.  Well, then I’m fine with no soup.

It’s not that these soups are bad.  They just all taste, well, rather the same.  You’ve got a meat-based, mild-flavored broth.  You’ve got some mild-flavored greens.  You’ve got buttery rice, you’ve got salt.  You’ve got limon squeezed on top.  And that’s basically it.  They’re harmless.  But let’s just say that these liquidy, mild-brothy, hot slurpy soups don’t leave you longing for seconds.

The one potential exception is the mariscada.  This creamy seaside soup is really de-lish (although it’s not exactly a pretty coating for the arteries).  Prepared with a coconut broth, it’s a bit of heaven in your mouth.  But Juan brings an extra shirt with when he he eats it — since he drenches the first one with sweat.  Don’t you think that means that maybe it’s a little TOO HOT for soup?  Juan, I’ll pass you my portion.