In many restaurants across the country soups aren’t given much consideration and tend to be basic. I see a lot of clam chowders, French onion soup and lentil soups. Classic favorites, but don’t grasp any serious attention most of the time. It’s usually a small portion of a few ounces served before the meal.
I love chowders. Hearty and rich, which is great for a cold winter day, I’ve had great chowders, but it’s not that exciting. Almost always the chowder comes out with a side of bread and garnished with parsley. It’s a predictable course. French onion soup is 5 items and tends to be full bodied. It’s classic and often times not given much attention in the cooking process.
Soups are generally served before the main course. Soups are seldolmy the main course. It seems kind of weird to think of a soup as a main course. Entree soups can be exciting. Just this past week I made a spicy Korean soup with zucchini noodles and Kim chi. It was full bodied and packed with flavor. In of itself I wouldn’t have served it as an entree, but with the addition of a poached egg and marinaded tofu can make for a nice entree soup.
You can make a soups extremly flavorful and light. I tend to stay away from making heavier soups before an entree. For spring a spicy Spanish seafood soup would work well. In the winter a stew of meats and winter vegetables is what would make more sense.
My philosophy on a meal is that every course served should be given equal attention. If the soup before your meal isn’t given the level of detail as the salad following it will show. Suprise them with a great soup.