I had to eat this bowl of salty wet brown, and now you can too!

I have a passion for all the soups: tomato bisque, cream of mushroom, regular mushroom soup, miso soup (the best soup of all time), hot and sour soup, tortilla soup, minestrone, lentil soup, every noodle soup, wanton soup, split pea soup, butternut squash soup, and so many more! I’ll even tip my hat to the controversial New England clam chowder not because I think it’s good—on the contrary, I don’t like the chunks at all—but because it reminds me of the olden days of Salem, Massachusetts where the pilgrims made soups of all their leftovers of the week and called it “chowder.” I just love soup!

It is now soup season, and if we are going to celebrate all the broths that bring us together, we must also celebrate the broths that break us. The broths that burden our souls with their foul taste and spirit. The broths that are bad.

The other day, I made a soup thinking it would be a celebration of flavor and marriage between wet and dry food. Instead, I made something so horrid I could only stomach half a bowl before releasing it to the rats of the subway stations. This is a Frankenstein mess of pantry leftovers and whatever spices spoke to me, and whatever measurements were made are clearly not correct. This, dear reader, is Bad Soup.

Here’s what you need to make Bad Soup:

  • 1 onion, preferably yellow, most definitely diced.
  • As many cloves of garlic as your heart desires, minced. I think I put six cloves of garlic because I love garlic, but that will not save this meal. You will waste garlic for this meal.
  • ¼ of a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas for the non-Hispanics). It may be more or less; I really don’t remember. I evidently blacked out while making this soup and forgot every ounce of cooking intuition while making it. Put as much as you want—the soup is already bad.
  • ½ a slab of extra-firm tofu, diced. Yep, this is a vegan soup. It’s a textural nightmare.
  • Salt and pepper. Self-explanatory.
  • 1 tsp of turmeric? I think there was turmeric?
  • Sprinkles of dried rosemary leaves. I don’t know how much goes in there; all I know is that it was not a justified decision.
  • Sprinkles of dried oregano leaves. Bonus points if you go into your spice rack thinking you’ll grab dried thyme, but you grabbed this instead and rolled with it.
  • Garlic powder. More garlic, but powdered!
  • 1.5 cups of vegetable broth.
  • 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes. We’re still making a vegan soup.
  • Shredded vegan parmesan cheese for garnish. Ironically the only good part of this soup.

How to make Bad Soup:

  1. Place a pot on a stove burner set to the highest temperature possible, and pour a good amount of olive oil at the center. Wait until the pot starts to emanate heat, and then add the onion. Throw pinches of salt onto the onion and then sauté until translucent.
  2. Push the onions away from the center, add a bit more oil in the center, and add the garlic. Wait for the garlic to start to smell really, really good, and then toss around with the onions.
  3. Add the garbanzo, toss around. Add the tofu, toss around. Add more salt, pepper, turmeric, rosemary, oregano, and garlic powder. Toss around until the tofu starts to look light brown. It’ll be hard to check if the tofu is properly cooked because the garlic powder and the turmeric will cling to the cubes like bread crumbs, but that’s just a part of the textural experience. At least you won’t get bacterial diseases!
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir around. Maybe add some more salt because vegetable broth tastes like nothing, and you absolutely do not believe any of the spices you added will do anything to make your meal better. Maybe add some more rosemary leaves while you’re at it…some more black pepper…splashes of hot sauce because you like spicy food…more garlic powder…get funky with it! Stir for five more minutes.
  5. Add the nutritional yeast flakes and stir until they have properly dissolved into the broth. Let the broth sit for five more minutes because you’ve learned before that broths taste better after sitting aside for longer.
  6. Regret everything.
  7. Pour your soup into a bowl and garnish with some vegan parmesan cheese!

Nothing will prepare you for how bad this is. It’s brown, it’s got a lot and nothing going on at the same time, and it’s both dry and wet. Worst of all, this abomination of a meal disgraces the name of soup.

For the best experience with Bad Soup, do the following:

Bad Soup in prison for crimes against humanity.

Yes, shove it all in a one-gallon bag and throw it away.

Bad Soup in Good Lighting via Author

Bad Soup in Bad Bag via Author