Soup is a liquid concoction of flavours in a bowl, for nourishment and sustenance, whether served in soup kitchens for the poor, or as a poncey bisque for anyone with more money than sense and the difference between a soup and a bisque, is about five quid.
That would be my variant on the joke about the difference between vanilla ice cream and gelato; about a pound a scoop, or the difference between a roulade and a roly-poly, or between a pancake and a crepe.
But the idea of a hearty soup is certainly a preoccupation of the Monks. Not only does Mrs Monk always have a soup brewing in the slow cooker, but we have also recorded a song about soup and made a movie of the same song, which I am not allowed to share to save the blushes of those who participated in the making of it.
On our recent vacation in Portugal, I decided to address the question, “who makes the best fish soup in Quarteria?”, and did so by ordering fish soup in every restaurant we encountered, for lunch, and for dinner. We had our first meal at the improbably named “Dallas Restaurant”, which had an unconvincing cowboy theme, and where I found the best fish soup worthy of abundant superlatives. The soup was a soup, without lumps, a reduction in the classic French style, but of a different hue, less red more yellow, but undoubtedly fishy. Elsewhere in Quarteria, we suffered a variety of pretenders; weak tourismo fodder, bulked up apparitions with an abundance of noodles or un-fish like indeterminate who-knows-what floaters.
Dallas is not culinary paradise, but their fish soup at 2 Euros a bowl is something of an irresistible bargain to be had. Recommended.