A soup is a kind of food. People make soups by boiling things in water. Then they put the things they boiled into a bowl and eat them. Vegetables are in most soups. You can also put meat in soups. Soups that are thicker than normal, with more meat or vegetables, are stews. The liquid in soup is broth.
Traditionally, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups. The traditional French types of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified by 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 egg, rice, lentils, flour, and grains. Most soups include carrots and potatoes. Some of the most common soups are chicken soup, tomato soup, pumpkin soup, and sopa de fideos. Here is a picture to the right showing a picture of pumpkin soup.
Canned soup can be condensed, which requires adding water (or sometimes milk), or it can be "ready-to-eat," which requires no additional liquid before eating. Condensed soup (invented in 1897 by Campbell Soup Company chemist John T. Dorrance) allows soup to be packaged in a smaller can and sold at a lower price than other canned soups. The "ready-to-eat" variant of soup can be prepared by simply heating the contents of the can on a kitchen stove or in a microwave oven. Soups like these can be used as a side dish.