I enjoy pepper filled crab soup when I have a cold, its efficacy to battle a common cold may be disputed but the effect it haves on me makes me overlook any naysayers. When we dine out usually people go for soups especially when it is leisure dining with or without some fried starters. This has become a dining custom usually throwing up interesting fractions like 1/2., 2/3, 3/5 etc. Sometimes I wonder if that is just an indicator of how much water to be added to it.
Anyway soups and dining out seem to intricately linked to each other; the soups usually fall into the clear, thick and cloudy type. The cloudy ones are the ones that is usually corn flour and water, sometimes it may be difficult to go beyond the two. And before I forget there is the bright red tomato soup that sometimes reminds me of …well never mind.
I have observed that once the soup lands on the table something very interesting happens, some folks just start dumping salt and pepper into the soup before tasting it. I asked some friends if they had tasted the soup, they said that it was hot. I asked them how they knew that the soup lacked salt or pepper by sight only. They were confused, some embarrassed but some just said that I do it always. When we accept the food without second thoughts at hotels and public places why do we treat the soups differently?
At wedding feasts during the vegetarian meals being served on the plantain leaf, salt is usually served. But I suspect that it is usually used for the curd that closes the meal. In no other public meal do we see people altering something that the cook has made unless you take into account the behaviour of folks eating pizza with obscene amounts of chilli flakes, oregano etc because it comes along with the order.
Personally I would think that it is an affront to the chef who makes the food if someone alters the soup without trying it. Once it is tasted then customizing it is a given. Imagine in this exuberance the soup becomes too salty or too spicy to eat, what does the person do? Adding water IS an option.
And of the pepper crab soup, I usually order it as crab soup; the pepper is added by the chef. I rarely have to alter it; I usually am busy wiping my streaming eyes…