A soup is a liquid, usually hot,
but sometimes cold, that has been cooked with added ingredients, such as meat
and vegetables. Soups are far more interesting and diverse than such a definition
suggests. The simplest are clear liquids, such as consommés and bouillons, which may be served plain or garnished with bits of vegetables, meat or dumplings. Most soups are heartier, filled with a number of ingredients, such as meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, pasta, dumplings or rice. Soups may be served as smooth purées
or left chunky. Depending on the ingredients, they can be served as a main
course or a first course.