BRUNSWICK, ME - APRIL 7: Regenerative White Bean and Rye Berry Soup on Thursday, April 7, 2022. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
The Truly Ancient History Of Soup
By Nico Danilovich
Soup is a dish that has withstood the test of time due to its simplicity and nutritional value, spawning a seemingly endless number of variations worldwide for every season. Although the dish has become a staple for many households, the exact origin of soup is as clouded as a hazy broth.
National Geographic notes cooking began millions of years ago, but it wasn’t until the Paleolithic Period that it became more sophisticated with the use of stone hearths. Various sources note that ancient humans began mixing solid foods with liquid and adding hot rocks in clay pottery and mud vessels, thus creating soup tens of thousands of years ago.
However, it’s possible that animal hides or stomachs, dirt pits, and tree bark were used as cooking bowls before that, and the ancient Chinese invented heat-resistant pots, allowing fire to be the primary heat source for food yet again. Ancient civilizations like China in the east and the Roman Empire in the west helped usher this culinary tradition through the annals of history, spreading it worldwide.