Though seemly of a minor importance, this question has plagued me for quite some time ever since I came across it. Is cereal a kind of soup? Of course, the easiest way to rid myself of this conundrum would have been a simple Google search, but as my laziness knows no bounds, I had let it fester. Today, though, is a different day. After a rather in-depth discussion with a friend with some explicit choice words directed at one another’s perceived idiocy, I decided it’s time to put this question to rest.
Let’s start with their definitions-
Soup: (from Wikipedia) Soup is primarily a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but may be cool or cold), that is made by combining ingredients of meat or vegetables with stock or water.
Cereal: (from Wikipedia) Cereal or breakfast cereal is a traditional breakfast made from processed cereal grains… Traditionally eaten as breakfast… Warm cereals like porridge and grits have the longest history. Ready-to-eat cold cereals, appearing around the late 19th century, are most often mixed with milk…
They can both be served hot or cold. Soup is primarily a liquid food but we’ve all had soup with chunks of vegetables and/or meat in them so there are parts that you chew and parts that you drink. Same goes with cereal. Soup is mostly savory, but there are dessert soups that are sweet, therefore cereal could be a dessert soup.
I’ve read arguments online about how cereal cannot be soup as it does not use any sort of broth, but I’ve found recipes of dessert soups that require no broth or stock of any kind. (see: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/strawberry-dessert-soup/)
Another argument stated that soups need to be cooked to be prepared. If we consider warm cereals like porridge and oats, they too require cooking. But even if we only considered the cold cereals that require but the addition of milk, you’ll find it interesting to know that not all soup requires cooking. In fact, there are cold soups that only need stirring in ingredients or blending. (see: https://www.panningtheglobe.com/chilled-tomato-soup-avocado-lime/)
The evidence is right there for you to see. I conclude with: Cereal is definitely soup!