The Most Popular Soup from Every Decade
Humans have been making soup for centuries, and no wonder: soup is so flexible—meat, vegetables, water or broth. Recipes aren't so much invented as evolved. Here are our favorite iterations of soup over the last century.
Around the turn of the century, immigrants from Genoa, Italy settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. As fishermen, they combined their cooking traditions with the local seafood and cioppino, a rich fish stew, was born.
A simple soup with a fancy name, vichyssoise is traditionally made with leeks, potatoes, onions, cream and chicken stock. It was invented—or possibly reinvented—in 1917 by Ritz-Carlton chef Louis Diat, who grew up near Vichy, France. Leek and potato soups were common in France in the 1800s, but Diat’s version was drenched with cream and served cold.
Super-smooth and creamy bisque soups suit the decadent roaring ’20s lifestyle. Our version uses a mix of sweet and savory white veggies, including parsnips and celery root, which looks stunning when topped with a bright garnish, like minced parsley or pomegranate seeds.
During the Great Depression, many households struggled to keep food on the table. Soup was the ideal food, since cooks could toss in any vegetables they had on hand and add water to stretch it, if needed.
The ’50s was peak canned-food era, and home cooks poured cream of mushroom soups into casseroles galore. Did you know you can make it yourself?
Though gazpacho dates back to the eighth century in Spain, it became popular in New York in the 1960s. Tomato soup, chilled: perfect for when tomatoes are at their peak.
Steakhouses were wildly popular in the 1980s, with chain restaurants spreading through the suburbs. Apart from steak and potatoes, French Onion soup is perhaps the quintessential steakhouse recipe.
In 1993, the first Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology was published, and a series was born. The books cemented the soup’s reputation as the ultimate comfort food.