Sometimes it feels like the food rules are arbitrary. I recently learned that brunch has a set start and end time and I don't even start with breakfast. What's the difference between scones and muffins, and where do cookies fit in? Soup is another food that seems unexplainable. It can be basically anything, it can be cold or hot. Which brings us to today's question - is cereal considered soup?
SOUP IS SOUP, CEREAL IS CEREAL
Well, they're mostly liquid and in a bowl, why not? I looked up the definition of soup on dictionary.com, which cleared up some confusion. Soup is "a liquid food prepared by boiling or simmering meat, fish or vegetables with various ingredients". So, according to dictionary.com, to answer this pressing question, cereal doesn't count as soup. Unless you're eating cereal full of cooked meat, fish or vegetables.
From this point of view, soup is mainly defined by how it is prepared. From tomato soup to chowder to chicken noodle soup, soups are cooked with solid food in liquid. The liquid could be water, cream, or chicken stock, while the solid ingredients seemed to be meat, fish, or vegetables.
However, this definition does not apply to gazpacho, a cold soup from Spain made from pureed vegetables, chilled and eaten. It's never been braised or boiled, but it's definitely soup! There are also sweet soups that have never been boiled, such as Chè Thái, a Vietnamese sweet soup that doubles as dessert, soup and fruit cocktail. It seems this topic needs more research…
If you read the Merriam-Webster dictionary, soup is defined as "a liquid food, especially based on meat, fish or vegetable soup, and usually eaten with solid food." According to this definition, a bowl of soup does not have to be Meat, fish or vegetable stock based. On that basis, any liquid food with chunks of solid food will be considered soup, so grains count!
This definition really opens up new possibilities for soups and makes us question any liquid dishes that contain solid foods. Is bloody mary soup? How about a root beer float? Where does it end up In this school of thought, maybe a hot dog is a sandwich and ketchup is a smoothie.
By this estimate, the milk in the cereal is similar to the broth in the soup, and the granola itself is a solid food. In this case, your cereal is breakfast soup no matter which cereal you choose. Cereal, nachos or lucky charms in a cereal bowl will swim in the milk soup and make granola soup!
The more we explore this absurd question, the more complicated it seems to be. Wikipedia lists different kinds of soup, the variety show "Cold Soup". However, the list of specific soups makes no mention of breakfast cereals. So where do we go from here?
In my opinion, like many things in life, there is no right answer. This is a question for you to answer based on your definition of what works best for your soup. If adding granola to the soup group feels good, go for it! Your breakfast experience will change forever. But if you feel that combining their identities isn't worthy of grain or soup, it's equally worthy of respect to keep them separate.