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Different between Soup and Stew

Soup and stew are two different ways to consume food. Both are made of solid ingredients and a liquid as a base. They share so many features that people often confuse these two foods with each other. Let us see how they differ from each other!

Soup:

Soup is a liquid food made of solid ingredients and a base of water, broth or stock. It is generally made of fish, meat, vegetables etc., and a liquid as a base. It is served hot and is cooked by boiling all the ingredients with the base at a high temperature for short duration of time. The ingredients are boiled in order to extract different flavours into the base. A soup is generally consumed before a meal as an appetizer. It is served in a bowl and does not require sauce or any gravy to be added to it. Humans are consuming soups since 6000 BC.

It is thin in consistency than stew as it has a higher liquid to solid ratio than stew. The preparation of soup does not involve stewing, a cooking method in which food is simmered in a small amount of liquid for a long period of time. Traditionally, soup is divided into two types: clear soup and thick soup. To prepare thick soup butter, cream, flour, starch, eggs, etc., are added to it.

Stew:

Stew is a liquid food that is thick in consistency than soups. Like soup, it is also made of solid ingredients and a base, but it has more solid ingredients and less liquid, i.e. it has a higher solid to liquid ratio than soups. To prepare stew, the ingredients are simmered in a small amount of liquid that can be a stock, wine and even beer.

Stew is cooked over low flame for a long period of time in order to extract and blend flavours of all ingredients and thus to produce a characteristic flavour and aroma. It is the main dish so it is not consumed as an appetizer or a dessert. It is served on a plate and a sauce or any other gravy can be poured over the solid ingredients.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between soup and stew are as follows:

Soup Stew
It is a liquid food that has a thin consistency. It is a liquid food with a thick consistency.
It contains more liquid and less solid ingredients. It contains less liquid and more solid ingredients.
The ingredients are cooked in a large amount liquid or base. The ingredients are cooked in a small amount of liquid or base.
It has a higher liquid to solid ratio. It has a higher solid to liquid ratio.
It can be consumed as an appetizer or dessert. It is consumed as a main food.
It can be served hot or cold. It is served hot.
It is served in a bowl and does not require sauce or other gravies to be added before consuming it. It is served in a plate and sauce and other gravies can be added to it before eating.
It is cooked for a short period of time over a high flame. It is cooked for a long period of time over a low flame.
The liquid portion is the main ingredient of the soup. Solid ingredients are the main portion in a stew.
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