It is Winter: eat soup. It is ninety degrees in Los Angeles: eat soup. Soup is like a fake meal brought to life. It is advanced juice.
But beyond faux anorexic food makeovers and health parade slurpees, soup is good. When you eat it in the Winter, it warms you up. That’s what our grandmothers have always said. When you eat soup in warm weather, it can cool you down. That’s what this Russian guy on my college rowing team always said. Also? It’s easy. You just need something to cook it in and you can slurp it out, making all the noise you want while eating (“eating”) it. You can get so many good soups in boxes and cans, without and with BPA lining. For a yum yum classic, I have chicken noodle. For vegetarian mad goodness, some potato chowder. For a way to torture myself because I am eating soup and am cheap and hate good things, fucking vegetable quinoa soup.
Soup is easy. You put it in a pan, add hot, and it is done. You then eat it. You can dress it up—Crackers! Sour cream! Dumplings! A sandwich!—or you can let the liquid meal slip into you like a warm vegetable potion. It can cure you if you are sick and sustain you if you are not very financially able. Soup is food pureed into something anyone can eat. If you are a baby, an adult person, a person who cannot use their mouth, whoever: soup is for you.
And not all soup is healthy. You can have something that has the consistency of semen but is the ooey, gooey, icky, sticky, yum, yum, gimme some bread bowl clam chowder. You can have something that is kind of basically the fusion of a meaty onion with a giant fucking crouton: it’s French onion soup. Name an indulgent, terrible dish that you should not eat—Mac and cheese! Hamburgers! French fries!—and I will tell you this: there is a soup for that. Want soup in a pie? Chicken pot pie. Want a sandwich that is part soup? French dip. Want soup in a movie? Soupy Sales. There is a soup for all you people.
The best part of soup is that it is an excuse to be a lazy adult. Stop eating cereal for dinner: you are not in college anymore. Buy some soup, crush up a ton of crackers or chips, mix, and you have your cereal with a brothy twist. Soup is laziness is loveliness is life. Soup can be simple (Tomato.) and soup can be complicated (Pho.) and soup can be classless (Ramen.) and soup can lavish (Ramen.) and soup can be compact (In a cup.) and soup can be a destination (On a plantation.): soup is everything.
So what should you eat when you don’t know what to eat? Soup. Soup is perfect because soup is whatever you want it to be.