Cold or hot, soup is enjoyed around the world in all seasons. Soup can be light, made up of a vegetable or meat broth or puree, or rich and creamy. Paired with a salad or bread, it can be an easy light meal.
Soup is a often served warm, and is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid.
Traditionally, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream. Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, lentils, flour, and grains; many popular soups also include carrots and potatoes.
Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two; however, soups generally have more liquid than stews.
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