Ketchup: Soup or Condiment?

E. Smith

Emily Smith, Staff Writer

Ketchup is made from tomatoes (with additional ingredients) and is considered a condiment like mustard or mayonnaise. Tomato Soup is exactly how it sounds, soup made out of tomatoes (with additional ingredients as well). However, this is technically not the history of how these two “paste” like tomato products most love came to be. 

If we go by the food historians (yes, they are real things, I know very weird), ketchup is originated from the Chinese koe chiap which can be translated to ‘brine of fish’ or ‘spicy sauce.’ This specific sauce was invented for many reasons, mainly used as a cooking medium. Considering there is not a true recipe for ketchup, there are many different types of taste depending on the culture and sometimes place. For example, most say that the ketchup from McDonald’s taste different from the ketchup from Waffle-House. However, ketchup is generally made out of tomatoes, sugar, vinegar/acetic acid, and different spices. This makes it different from tomato soup/sauce is made from tomatoes, oil, meat/vegetable stock, and spices. 

Ketchup is naturally served cold, while the soup/sauce form is served hot. Another difference from the creation of ketchup and sauce/soup is that ketchup has a variety of spices and the paste form generally is not naturally with spices in it. So where did “ketchup soup” come from? 

Well according to Urban Dictionary and possibly many others, ketchup soup is “what you eat when there is no food in the house and you are hungry…”  this refers to making tomato soup but adding water to ketchup and heating it up to the desired taste. Now, there are many recipes on how to make ketchup soup which makes it sound more introduce than it seems. There is even a recipe that calls for “diced ketchup” which is somewhat impossible unless frozen. Then there are other recipes that want people to be prepared for the apocalypse so, they have a fairly easy ingredients list for the soup. 

This research has made me come to a conclusion that either way, tomato soup in a packet is the most disgusting thing that has ever come to my mind and those who have thought about creating a copy-cat tomato soup from it.