The word itself is probably one of the worst-sounding descriptive food words next to polenta and gefelte fish and immediately connotates a lethargic, common, everyday food item that does little to excite, inspire or ingratiate. Alone, soup is never a meal nor is it ever a main course — it is the poor man’s liquidy food of nothingness.
So then why is a bread bowl supposed to change everything?
As far as prognosises go, soup in a bread bowl has the least chance of rising high above all the other subjects whose prognosises have been not-so-good. This is, primarily because, you just can’t dress up soup — and trying to do so taints what sliver of dignity soup initially had before the bread bowl came into the picture.
Tomato soup on its own is basic, somewhat boring. But throw it into the top of a sourdough bread bowl and watch people run for the hills. Why? Because it seems as if you’re hiding something. It’s like putting thousand-dollar rims on a Toyota Supra. It’s like building a second story onto your mobile home. It’s like dressing up a homeless heroin user in Abercrombie & Fitch cargo pants. It’s like you’re trying to pull something over on someone, and it’s painfully obvious that you’re trying to do so, which in turn — turns people off even more.
Soup in a bread bowl is not looking good, people.
Offer me up a bowl of nice hot chicken soup and I’m on board. Suggest a nice lobster bisque in a basic metal bowl. Craft some of that tasty home-made french onion soup you’re so famous for. But offer me any of those in a sourdough bread bowl and watch me turn the other way.
Sure, there will be people coming out of the woodwork today with their inspirational stories of how eating soup out of a sourdough bread bowl changed their lives. How the act of eating soup mixed with floating pieces of discarded bread-skin inspired them to change the world. How the process of finishing said soup, then ripping apart pieces of it’s housing (the bread bowl) and flinging bread shavings everywhere in the process made them realize the error of their truly-villainous ways and subconsciously forced them into an attitude adjustment.
Yes, there will be some who claim that. But we’ll pity them behind their back.
The real truth behind the sourdough bread bowl is more sinister than some expect. Restaurants do not provide the sourdough bread bowl because they know you love more bread than the human body can digest in one sitting. No, they don’t provide the sourdough bread bowl because they know that the hunter/gatherer inside of you is desperate to rip apart the equivalent of an animal you shot and ate, limb for limb — and yet it just happens to be a bread bowl instead. No, your favorite bread place is not offering you the bread bowl because they know that the public has been clamoring for soft, soggy, warm and wet bread bits since the dawn of time.
They give it to you so they can save money.
The soup in a bread bowl phenom is simply an easy way to not have to buy soup bowls, not have to pay kitchen staff overtime to wash said bowls and not have to add extra storage space for bowls (which are not too stackable and thus, require a lot of shelving). That’s right — sourdough bread bowls are not for you…they are for “the man.”
And you don’t want to eat soup in a bread bowl if you know it’s THE MAN who wants you to do it. Right?
That’s why, today on WFME — we would like to officially state our opinion that the prognosis on soup in a bread bowl is very very very bad. Yes, worse than line-stander asker holders. Worse than balloon animals. Far worse than sweating and extremely utterly far worse than thank you notes. Yes, soup in a bread bowl has the worst prognosis in the history of WFME.
Honestly, are you surprised?
So, the next time you find yourself in a restaurant where your waiter or waitress tries to convince you that clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl is the most exciting, most groundbreaking, most awesome-ist, bestest fad, coolest thing to do ever, in the history of soup — you tell them what you know to be true:
Them, and their soup, and their bread bowls — none of it ain’t foolin’ no one.