Does cereal count as soup? Immediately, no.
But, after sifting through the definitions of both soup and cereal one may find themselves contemplating the head-scratching facts. Moreover, the absurdity is even good material for the latest TikTok trend, the Reading Rainbow filter.
Despite how silly it may sound, determining whether or not cereal is a soup is not as straightforward as it may seem. In comparison to debates over whether a hotdog is a sandwich or is a cupcake a muffin, the cereal versus soup controversy is just a little more complex.
To Be Soup, Or Not To Be Soup, That Is The Question
The confusion stems from the definition of soup. As defined by the Oxford dictionary, soup is a liquid food made by boiling meat, vegetables, etc. in water, often eaten as the first course of a meal.
However, any soup enthusiast wouldn’t hesitate to point out that Oxford’s definition of soup alienated a particular category. Yes, we’re talking about gazpacho and other chilled soups. And before the naysayers start uttering that cold soup isn’t soup, they should know that many queens of comfort cooking, such as Ina Garten and Martha Stewart, have some chilled soup mentionables of their own. And, if they don’t know what a soup is, then who does?!
In theory, cold milk would not disqualify cereal as soup. Some might argue that certain cereals, for example, oatmeal or grape nuts, can also be served hot. But for team cereal as a soup, it would more than likely fall in the chilled soup category.
In spite of this, many people still believe that preparing soup requires cooking or preparing the ingredients. Nevertheless, those in the cereal=soup camp point out that cereal requires cooking as well, it is just done in factories. Because really, what is the difference between buying soup in a can or making your own cheerios at home?
Those in the not-soup camp frequently argue that soups aren’t soups without stock or broth. Interestingly, there are plenty of fruit-based soups and variations of gazpacho that lack broth or stock that are sufficiently soupy enough to justify the name.
Cereal is cereal, though, at the end of the day. Milk isn’t necessary to enjoy it. Cereal can just be cereal, but soup can never just be soup. Does this mean cereal is a soup? Well, technically no. Can cereal be a soup? Yes, cereal can be anything it wants to be.