Soup is one of the world’s oldest and most versatile foods, according to Janet Clarkson, author of Soup: A Global History.
“All cultures have some kind of soup”, he pointed out.
As in the Bronze Age making metal soup bowls, the ancients cooked food to combine the products with herbs and other ingredients for nutritional or medicinal purposes.
Every time you put a pot of soup on the stove, you’re following an ancient tradition, Clarkson says. See CNN’s nominations for the 10 best soups in the world:
Oil palm fruits add richness and flavor to this Niger Delta soup, which also includes fresh catfish, beef and dried seafood. It is so popular that shops sell banga spice packets. Most of the mixtures are African nutmeg, castor seed, orima, jansa and betel leaves.
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Beef pho (phở bò), Vietnam
The broth is simmered for hours with cinnamon, star anise, and other spices to create the wonderful base for this rice noodle soup. And while today’s pho restaurants offer a wide variety of flavors, beef is the original ingredient. By 1930, the soup was served with slices of raw beef carefully cooked in broth.
Tender pieces of beetroot swim in a red broth – this soup is loved not only by the people of Ukraine, but also by the whole of Eastern Europe. Often topped with sour cream, borscht is nothing more than a simple beetroot soup. Today, Ukrainian chefs are fighting to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, amid attempts to declare it a Russian invention.
A fisherman’s stew that has become a culinary icon, bouillabaisse brings together classic Mediterranean flavors in a dish synonymous with the coastal city of Marseille. Saffron, olive oil, fennel, garlic and tomato are mixed with fresh sea fish. The authentic recipe includes at least four types of seafood selected from a special list.
Caldo Verde, Portugal
Chopped greens are mixed with potatoes and onions in this homemade soup from Portugal’s Minho wine region. Today, soup is a culinary star in elegant cafes and country kitchens. In many versions, tender Portuguese sausage chouriço adds a smoky, salty flavor.