I, like many intelligent, texture-sensitive individuals, have long had a resistance to soup. Commonly, a soup offers no textural variation and, instead, a strange, smooth, sometimes grainy mouthfeel that has terrified and repulsed me for decades.
As a baby, I required juiced baby food. Smoothies and baby food texture are frankly too similar to soup. Horrifying.
But after years of wandering the minefield of cuisine, always choosing salad instead of soup, I decided to be brave. I felt like my limitations were holding me back. Soup-pushers were toxic, villainous. I was a depraved being in their eyes, rejecting their most precious creation. So, on May 25, 2023, I sat down at a Generic Fine Dining Establishment, and faced my fears.
My waiter was an idiot. He didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
“Soup or salad,” he questioned.
He looked impatiently at me as seconds, then minutes, passed.
I am a fifty year old woman facing her deepest, darkest fear.
“How dare you,” I uttered.
Then he took it upon himself to remind me how much time had passed. As if I wasn’t aware that my one precious life was in the hands of this imbecile. I was tracking every minute of this interaction. It was my personal Everest.
“I will have the soup,” I softly uttered.
He had the arrogance to ask me to repeat myself.
“THE SOUP,” I commanded. The glasses on the table trembled at my glorious howl.
“Ok, ma’am, would you like tomato or broccoli cheddar?”
How was I to know?
I am a woman. I am a woman who has been wandering through the desert, and now I am left with questions about the expanse of the sea.
Tensions rose once more.
I looked at him.
Sweat was forming on his brow.
I intimidated him.
We stared deeply at one another once again.
I drew a breath.
“I will have the broccoli cheddar soup, Dylan.”
He started to turn and run away from me at rapid speed.
“Wait!” I beckoned.
He turned slowly. He trodded back to me, looking desperate. For what, I’m not sure.
“Is broccoli cheddar soup the right choice, Dylan?”
Three minutes and fourteen seconds later, the platter arrived before me.
Dylan placed a silver spoon on the table and warned me that it was hot. Oh, it was hot indeed. Steaming hot.
After allowing the soup to cool a bit, I placed the spoon in the luscious batter before me.
Maneuvering a broccoli onto my silverware, I brought the soup to my quaking mouth.
Fear rattled through my bones.
I took a bite.
That is really something, I thought.
I dove in for more and more.
It was explosive in flavor, creamy, and heavenly.
How had I missed out on this beautiful experience for so many years?
“Dylan!” I called out.
He came back, almost in tears. Probably choked up about witnessing the beauty before him unfold.
“Soup. I like it now.”
He fell to his knees.