Soup is more than food. Soup is a way of being.

No, I’m not serious. Soup is soup. It’s an amalgamation of vegetables, bits of meat, and a lot of water. But soup means more than that.

In life, we are a culmination of our actions. You are nothing more than what you do (and if you don’t believe me, just ask Alec Baldwin).

Given that eating is such an innate part of the human experience, to some degree you are what you eat.

When someone chooses to eat soup, they are choosing, despite the overwhelming wealth of the western world, to eat what is modest. Soup is “just enough”, but not too much. Soup is merely the essentials.

In Japanese there is a phrase “hara hachi bun me”. It is a Confucian teaching to eat until 80% full. Stoic philosophers like Seneca intentionally practiced poverty as a way to inoculate himself from fear and worry. These both encompass the ideals of essentialism inherent to eating soup.

I’m not against enjoying expensive culinary treats; living in Austin I appreciate brussels sprouts, peanut butter, golden raisins, sambal, and lemon.

But I also practice soup. And it does answer some of my problems.