Around the World in 10 Soups (Slideshow)

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Our worldwide love of soup spans at least 25,000 years
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Our worldwide love of soup spans at least 25,000 years.

Around the World in 10 Soups

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Our worldwide love of soup spans at least 25,000 years.

Australia: Chicken and Corn

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Ginger makes the Aussie national soup a little bit spicy, while creamed corn offers a touch of sweetness. The result is a bit like a bisque but much easier to prepare.

Colombia: Ajiaco

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This rich, cream-based soup incorporates corn and at least three types of potatoes, so it’s not for the carb-wary, but all those carbs pay off in the ultimate South American comfort food. 

Hungary: Goulash

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It seems that every suburban mom with a refrigerator full of leftovers and a packet of egg noodles has a recipe for “goulash.” But real goulash dates back to the ninth century, when Hungarian shepherds would slow-cook meat in liquid, then dry it in sheep’s stomachs to be reconstituted in water over a campfire. Modern-day goulash is much less grotesque; it’s now a thick, meaty stew-like soup heavily flavored with paprika. 

Japan: Ramen

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This is not your freshman-year, plastic-wrapped snack food. The Chinese originally brought ramen to Japan in the 1800s, but since then, the humble noodle has taken on a life of its own. There are four main types of ramen broth: pork, miso, soy, and chicken. All may contain meat, but the most common ingredient is an egg boiled in the broth. 

Malaysia: Laksa

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Laksa can have many different proteins, from seafood to chicken, but it usually contains coconut, tamarind, and lemongrass over fluffy egg noodles for a sweet and spicy curried flavor.   

Spain: Gazpacho

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Gazpacho has been native to Spain so long that its roots have been lost, but some believe the cold soup was brought over by the Moors. There are many modern variations, but the traditional recipes call for stale bread, tomato, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, bell pepper, onion, and salt. The ingredients are blended into froth and chilled to make a delicious summer soup.

Vietnam: Phở

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This rice noodle dish is among Vietnam’s most traditional dishes. In Vietnam, phở is usually served with slivers of beef or chicken so thin they cook immediately upon submersion in a bowl of steaming hot broth made of spicy, sour, sweet, and bitter flavors.  

Tobago and Trinidad: Callaloo

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Callaloo is sometimes a soup and sometimes a sauce served over meat. Either way, it’s delicious. Callaloo is made with young greens, usually either amaranth, dasheen, or taro, which taste similar to spinach. Other ingredients include onion, garlic, okra, salt, hot pepper, and some kind of protein. The soup is so good it’s been known to make young men propose marriage. 

Ukraine: Borscht

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Though borscht is important to many Eastern European cultures, including Russia and Poland, most historians trace the origins of the blood-red soup to Ukraine. The red color comes from boiled beets, and the soup usually also contains beef, cabbage, and potatoes.