Soup is a primarily liquid food, generally served warm (but may be cool or cold), that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid.
Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.
Types of Soup
Traditionally, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups.
Clear soups are soups that are very liquid based, filled with chopped meats, vegetables, or starches like rice or pasta. Broth soups are differentiated by the type of liquid used to make them. There are broth soups, stock soups, and bouillon soups.
Stock is more intense than broth, having been cooked slowly to extract as much flavor as possible from meat or fish bones and aromatics.
Broth is the liquid that remains after meat, seafood, or vegetables have been cooked in water.
Bouillon is a condensed-cube or powder form of broth, used to add a burst of flavor to some recipes.
Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce.
Bisque are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream.
Stews aren't always classified as a soup because stew don't have as much liquid. Although, most of the time, there isn't a clear distinction between the two. Stews are generally slow cooked soups that are very meat or vegetable based.
Cream-based soups are rich and hearty in the winter time. Generally, you purée vegetables and slowly simmer the soup on the stove. You finish the soup off with cream at the end before it is finished.