In defence of the humble cup-a-soup
Cup-a-soups have been getting a bad rap these past few years.
Don't act like you haven't heard the whispers.
Ever since the timely explosion of thick, chunky, microwavable soups that you can cook and chow down on within minutes, the humble cup-a-soup has been deftly left by the wayside.
It's been cast aside like an old toy or a pair of jeans with the crotch worn out or some lad who you've been dating consistently for the past eight months who you suddenly decide you don't like anymore but are also too awkward to make a big deal out of it so you decide to just stop texting him.
Yeah, that's what the cup-a-soup must feel like.
Don't you feel bad?
Now, I don't know how everybody feels about the cup-a-soup.
But what I do know is that lately, cup-a-soup sales have been down by 15 percent in the last quarter (they haven't) and that many consumers are now opting for more filling, more value-for-money based products (they may be, who can say for sure, like).
I'm not here to apportion blame.
I understand that people may want more from an easily prepared soup than hot water and some sort of powder.
I get that the five-a-day is a pretty big deal.
I know that you can literally buy a €2 tub of stuff filled with veg and meats and the odd bit of fish and you'll be set for the day.
I realise these things. I am aware.
And yet, I still believe that the cup-a-soup is an underappreciated specimen.
First off, it's super easy to make.
Open packet, throw whatever's in there into a mug, lash in your hot water, mix, mix, mix some more, and that's it, you're done, all made and ready to drink while also mixing some more because, yeah okay, some of that powder will start to settle but whatever, it's grand, we all need a little instability in our lives every now and then.
There's none of this microwave business.
None of this stirring halfway through cooking crap.
You put your water in, do a few other things, and you're set.
Second, the cup-a-soup was kind of a big deal when it first came on the culinary scene.
Never before had people been so quickly fed by such a small sachet.
Sometimes, I do still find it hard to believe that all of that flavour is coming from that tiny packet... and don't even get me started on the noodles.
Third, cup-a-soup is a happy medium between a meal and a hot drink that you sometimes just need.
We've all been hanging around the gaf with a cold, struggling to eat something to keep our energy levels up, and yet, we just don't have the appetite for it.
We want to consume something, but we're worried about keeping it down.
We want to be warm, but we're bored of tea already.
Enter the stunning, the necessary, the saviour - the cup-a-soup.
Not too heavy, not too light, not too bogged down with the weighted worries of the world.
The cup-a-soup is a relaxed soup. He's not too bothered by your problems but he'll still let you go on and on about them while nodding solemnly and offering an empathetic slurp to sip.
Cup-a-soup is a good lad.
And he deserves far more respect than we've been giving him.