It has been hot outside of late, uncomfortably hot. This weather has made me snappish and irritable. It has made me rush to work in the morning and slow to leave because I would much rather linger in a cool building than walk out into what feels like sweaty folds of skin.
On one of these insufferably close days, I went out for lunch with my friend Michael. The waitress came by, poured us water and offered to run down a list of specials. I took her up on the offer because I like dramatic monologues as much as the next person. Her recitation was uninspired to say the least — all very pedestrian fare poorly enunciated with no pauses for emphasis — just braised this and pulled that; however, the last item she mentioned caught my attention because it sounded positively nauseating: “Chilled watermelon soup with goat cheese”.
Yeah, I own cookbooks, I know that crazy things like cantaloupe soup exists, but watermelon soup?
Nope. Not for this mole.
I made myself eat gazpacho last year because I thought it would make me seem somewhat worldly and more adult. I only got through it by eating very large pieces of bread with it and treating the soup as if it were a salsa of some kind. Gazpacho I could tolerate just once, but I absolutely draw the line at chilled fruit soup.
Ratty, where do you stand on cold soups?
I don’t understand soup. I like soup but I don’t understand loving soup. When Pho blew up a few years ago it drove me nuts. Everyone wanted to have Pho all the time. It’s just soup and soup is, essentially, hot water. I can’t get excited about hot water. I don’t think I’m going to win any friends with that because coffee is also mostly hot water that a cult has formed around (relax, I drink it too). Maybe I just haven’t had a really sublime soup yet. As for cold soups? Well, they are obviously garbage.
I get it, all you have is the stuff for a soup and it’s hot out and you’re like, “Let’s give this a go”. I understand the basic idea I guess; I just don’t understand why you’d CHOOSE to drink it. Soup, in its natural hot state, is utilitarian. It warms you up on a cold day and the steam unfucks your sinuses or what have you. That’s fine. After years of hot soup I just can’t enjoy a cold one. It feels like an unfinished experience especially at a restaurant. I don’t like buffets for the same reason. There’s a piece missing, the one where I don’t have to get my own food.
I loathe gazpacho for the same reason that I wouldn’t drink a V8. The thought of its red lukewarm thickness snaking its way down my gullet is nauseating. Actually just the thought of my gullet is nauseating. The word “gullet” too. The whole thing is just a big fucking disaster.
Cold soups, no thank you.