What is the bleakest soup you can think of? Random Number Generator Brian will choose from your bleak, bleak entries, and one of you will win a copy of Sunday Soup. Tweet, post or Facebook (and let me know) for another entry. Comments close Sunday at noon.
Miso. Because it’s just broth and you can make soup names into bleak racial slurs that begin with “Miso….”
split pea soup. the color is just so…ugh. gross!
I am eating a can of split pea soup right now and it is a little bleak. Wish I had picked up another can this morning.
I love soup, but the bleakest soup is probably cabbage broth. As delicious as it may (or may not) be, it looks as close to non-nutritious and non-hearty as you can get without finally just calling it less-clear-water.
Lukewarm, watered-down boullion, garnished with a stingy sprinkle of dried parsley. Just the thought is making my soul deflate a little.
Hey, I have one!
The Salt Soup
(Heavily salted water, warmed, to induce vomiting)
Hot ham water.
katie, i gotta say, hot ham water is my favorite so far, although it is arguably not as bleak as some of the others in that is does involve a protein source.
The vile leek soup I ate for 3 days after reading French Women Don’t Get Fat. Limp, sad, bland little bits not at all improved by the recommendation of a jaunty grind of fresh pepper. Boo.
Poor Man’s Tomato Soup – hot water and ketchup.
Damn! Tanis just used mine! We call it ski bum soup though, because you can make it for free at the ski lodge!
condensed chicken noodle soup, because it is just so, so far from delicious homemade chicken noodle soup.
Leek, Cabbage and Daikon soup. I encountered the Deadly Sulfuric Trio while on one of those ”de-tox” diets. If this doesn’t make you want to jump off a bridge, I don’t know what will.
The healthy canned soups are bleak. I haven’t had a homemade soup that didn’t taste good, yet. I hope I never do.
Bleakest soup ever? Boiling a stone in some water in the hopes of getting some trace mineral content. Oh yeah.
soup/broth made with boullion cubes…
The bleakest soup ever would be no soup….for it is too bleak to exist…or maybe vegan beef broth…dried bay leaf broth.
I tweeted, btw!
Essence of reduced Pasta cooking water
Hot Ham Water. Agreed. However, what’s bleak is your prognosis after consuming it.
luke warm water.
Poor person version of French Onion Soup-boiled onion with a beef boullion cube dissolved in it. If you pretend you can almost imagine its good. this is tweeted.
Bleek Soup With Tofu – broth with one leek cut up into it and one lonely tofu cube.
Soup made from the melted snow you just trudged through for 0 days, salted with your tears from when your little sister who was traveling with you succumbed to the cold and died, and flavored with the dirt in the hoof-prints of your horse that ran off in the middle of the night and left you all alone.
That’s some effin bleak shit right there.
opps — 10 days, not zero days because 0 days would be not at all bleak.
anything that goes directly from a can to the microwave.
How about a celery gazpacho? Flavorless AND cold! (Also inexpensive.)
a bouillon cube… with only your saliva for moisture.
you guys are really getting good and bleak. keep ’em coming!
Oh, how about that cabbage soup diet soup?
The kind you make a BOATLOAD of (literally) and eat 3 meals a day Every Fricking Day For Ten Days.
Oh man, I have a good one from a book called “Why Cook?”–“Last Minute Blend,” which consists of 1 can Cream of Tomato and 1 can Cream of mushroom, mixed. Why cook? Why live, if that’s the kind of crap you’re going to eat.
ToyLady–Both my parents did that Cabbage Soup diet in the late seventies, and I cannot abide the smell of cooked cabbage ever since then.
So I did some bleak soup research and found this fine story from soupsong.com: “Tokyo gangland soup slaying: On 9/25/78, Tokyo police arrested 5 in a bizarre gangland killing that severed a gangster’s hands and threw them into a pot of Chinese noodle soup in a Central Tokyo food stall to boil away the fingerprints. The bones were later thrown away and the remaining body buried on a mountain outside the city, but police cracked the case in the end.” I think gangster-hand soup is pretty bleak.
But, as far as actual soups go, I found a cold soup on epicurious that looks like the bleakest (or at least most “I’ve given up”) of any soup I’ve ever seen. It is made from orange juice, tequila, cold chicken broth, serrano chili and pureed avocado (which seems so “Mix last night’s party with chicken broth, do not heat”.) Also, it was called Sopa de Aguacate, which, because I didn’t know the Spanish for avocado, initially looked like it was supposed to be Water Soup.
Any type of sad college student soup, including “egg drop soup” that’s just water, soy sauce, and an egg mixed in. Or college student “tortilla soup” that’s just water, canned tomatoes, and crumbed tortillas on top. Maybe some salsa thrown in there if you have some in the fridge.
Store brand — CHEAP store brand — tomato soup that they put on sale four for a dollar, diluted with water instead of milk and heated in the dorm room at college on a Friday night when you don’t have a date and everyone else has gone to the football game. That scarred my soul for life, and it was 35 years ago.
The bleakest soup is 15 cent ramen, eaten raw, without utensils, and accompanied by a 40oz malt liquor. (You can probably get cheaper ramen…)
Cheap off-brand tomato soup (couldn’t even afford Campbells), diluted with water, and mixed-in Ramen Noodles (including the “flavor” packet) and heated on the bottom of a older type popcorn popper (the kind with the removable lid). A desperate and sad attempt to make a “fancy” Italian-style soup so I wouldn’t feel like the poor college student I was. So didn’t work.
I know someone already said Cabbage broth. But my vote goes for the Cabbage Soup diet soup…
i became so depressed over eating this soup that one day, whilst choking down yet another bowl, i stopped, looked at my bowl disgustedly, and actually said to it, in a long low voice ” I HATE you…fucking soup.”
my husband has never let me live down cussing out the cabbage soup
Aside from the bleakness already mentioned, I suggest: off-brand ramen.
Institutional soup – like in a school cafeteria, or a prison – doled out by the grim ladleful by granite-faced Teutonic lunchladies. Doesn’t matter what flavour it is (if indeed any flavours would taste different from one another under these circumstances).
Two bowls of Jarndyce soup.
That horrid Cabbage soup diet soup, while reading Bleak House. a recipe for suicide.
Any of the soups you can get at the deli in the takeout containers. By the time you get them home they are cooled and congealed. Bleak.
That nasty miso soup that comes in a box. It is by far the last resort of absolute desperation.
Boiled cabbage soup. Imagine if you will:
Most of a head of green cabbage
A big soup pot full of water
half an onion
Boil, boil, boil. Eat.
THAT is bleak. (I’m SORRY, Nana!)
Miso. I don’t get it. I can drink hot water with salt for far less money than that crap.
you’re on a bleakness roll! keep ’em coming, i’m not yet as depressed as i could be.
potato soup – just boil potatoes for hours and voila! soup. Um, with some dill to try and make it edible? or a bay leaf? I tried this when I was dieting only to discover eating potatoes isn’t so much a diet as its a slow torture…
Use leftover water from steaming broccoli (it has nutrients!), then plop in the teabags sitting there by the stove that you reuse because you are a cheapass. Voila! Green Tea Infused Essence of Broccoli Soup. Garnish with chives. Charge $6 at hipster restaurant.
In related news, my husband has actually started putting a pepperoncini in his iced tea. WTF?
The soup I lived on for 3 days when I was flat broke and between jobs: A pound of hamburger boiled in water with hot sauce and a can of peas.
I once made vegan potato soup with: one potato, boiled and then mashed into the water with blended tofu for protein. It’s what made me give up on veganism. That was the closest I’d been to creamy in a year. Ugh.
Post-Apocalyptic Soup (w/ Rabbit)
After the first wave of the virus hit, my wife and I counted ourselves among the lucky ones. We were wrong. The luckiest were probably those hit before they knew what hit them, before they knew what horrors awaited them.
She wasn’t so lucky in the second wave. The virus mutated quicker than the government could find anything to stop it. It was airborne, waterborne, foodborne and nobody and nothing escaped it. Except me.
Maybe my parents were cousins, maybe I had some glitch in a chromosome, I don’t know. The doctors couldn’t figure it out before the virus took them, too, fear and desperation gripping their scientific minds as the virus turned them to mush.
There was a chance for my daughter, born premature as my wife’s body was ravaged by that godforsaken plague. But without my wife to sustain her, without mother’s milk or a hospital, she was gone, too, and I cursed the atrocities I had committed to pull her from my wife’s dying body.
I haven’t seen anyone for two years now. No living animal except me and Harvey, the rabbit I didn’t have the heart to kill when I snared him in that first clumsy trap. There are mutated, wild things out there, that pervert what an animal once was, but I don’t count them. Anyway, It’s getting to be too much.
I fire up the generator, one last desperate time with the shortwave radio, broadcasting my agony to nobody before I end it all.
I gather the few dismal vegetables I have left. A carrot, cut into halves, Harvey happily munching on his share, the rest going in the pot. A potato, not worthy of the name, as mealy and half-rotten as it is, but I cut away the bad parts and use what’s left. The poison, carried for two years in anticipation of just such a day. The man who’d traded it to me used it on himself as the plague hit the refugee camp, so I know it will work. And finally, tears streaming down my face, I kill Harvey and prepare him to put into the pot. He wouldn’t survive out here, I tell myself, where no vegetables will grow any more, where wild mutated things will tear him to pieces without my protection. He would want this, I think, though I can’t imagine that being true.
Salt, pepper, stir. I go through the motions of cooking. It was a joy, a thing I did for pleasure, and for so long it’s just been pure, bitter sustenance. But now? Now it’s a way out.
I light a last candle, set a place with dirty bowl and bent spoon. Soup’s on.
I ignore the spoon, pick up the bowl and drink it all down in one draught, feeling the warmth in my stomach and a numbing begin to radiate through all my limbs.
I lay my head on the table; my vision begins to blur, and I know I’m not long for this misbegotten world.
I hear the shortwave crackle to life, a voice–god, I’d forgotten what a voice other than my own even sounded like–comes over the radio, “–small community of survivors, hoping to find others. Do not lose hope, we have food and water. Again, we are broadcasting on all channels, do not lose hope–,” but it’s too late, and I can only wonder what they will make of my wasted flesh as what I consider to be my self rises above it and fades away.
Canned cream of mushroom soup tossed into top ramen. Dude! I used to actually think this was good. Thank God I learned to really cook!
Watery congee. Which is supposed to be porridge, but when there isn’t enough rice and it goes a little too long you have… rice cooked down into a soup that resembles nothing more than runny wallpaper paste.
Cream of onion. Always make me feel sad.
Baud Bree soup. It’s a scottish soup made with hare – which makes it the Scottish equivalent of a Roadkill Broth.
A few years ago, my mom did the All-You-Can-Eat-Soup-Diet. Let me tell you, the rationing of gross crunchy breadsticks, the measuring of every single damn thing, my mother’s cranky hunger-induced bitching three days in… that was some BLEAK soup, I’ll tell you.
Well, I’m torn…split pea is probably the bleakest I’ve tried. I can’t get past the color, and then there’s the Exorcist connotation. Then again, the cabbage soup diet brings back some seriously horrific memories.
Of course, there’s Grandma Higgins’ Chop Meat Stew. Yep, ground beef, onion, potatoes, water, salt & pepper. That’s the entire recipe. For an extra special treat, thicken with cornstarch, and serve over toast. Very, very bleak indeed.
Neo Citran. For sustenance. When you’re not even sick.
Possibly garnished with shreds of leek.
University dorm food hall “potato chowder.” Powdered mashed potato, copious water, stir. Shudder.
Hot dog water soup. Blech.
Gotta add a few. These are two I have done at work for the dive bar I got fired from three weeks ago (for losing my temper in the dining room over another cook’s continued laziness, not for any of my own myriad screwups). My boss and I have had repeated arguments about ordering supplies for decent soup, and since I’m the employee I always lose. So I use ingredients on hand…Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, which I thin with chicken base and cream, and to which I add sauteed mushrooms. For a chef who has cooked in several very high end establishments, this is bleak. The Campbell’s Tomato Soup with dried italian seasoning is bleaker, though. I’ve done that when I was in a hurry. I don’t miss working for that place…anyone in Virginia hiring for a good cook? Hell, I’ll wash dishes before I’ll work for that place again. I suppose that in keeping with the theme of bleakness, I should mention that my wife is bedbound with multiple sclerosis. I’m going to go make Jameson’s soup now…recipe, 1 bottle Jameson’s Irish Whisky, water to taste. Serve at room temperature.
my bleakest soup memory: I was heading out to a party (fancy dress) as a geisha complete with wig and white face paint. Thought that dinner might be a while coming so heated up some
out-of-code tomato soup that made me vomit immediately and so intensely that it came out of my nose.
Is there anything bleaker than a faux- geisha with an apparent tomato soup nosebleed?
Can not even think about eating tomato soup without feeling a little queezy.
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