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What Is Stoup?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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"Stoup" is a slang expression coined by celebrity chef Rachael Ray that has come to be applied to an easy-to-prepare dish that is thicker than a standard soup but not quite as thick as a stew. Considered to be an ideal meal in a pot, stoup can include a wide range of meats and vegetables in a tomato based liquid or prepared with cream based commercial soups that are thickened slightly. Like soups and stews, stoup can be served with thick hunks of bread or crackers and accompanied by a simple garden salad to provide a filling and nutritional meal.

Because stoup is a fine line between soup and stew, there is some difference of opinion on just how thick the recipe can be before it crosses the line and becomes a proper stew. Some people believe that stoup is only marginally thicker than vegetable soup; anything thicker should be considered stew. Others believe that stoup is better described as being stew that is slightly watered down and that anything thinner than that is nothing more than a thick soup.

As would be expected, this has led to the development of many different stoup recipes. Some of them use the approach of chunky vegetables and larger cuts of meat coupled with a slightly thickened soup stock. Other recipes call for using a fair amount of starchy vegetables in the stoup recipe, helping the make the liquid thicken with greater ease. In any case, a full range of vegetables and meats can be used in the preparation of stoup. Ground beef, sirloin tips, shredded chicken or turkey, and sausage are all common meat options. For vegetables, potatoes and corn form the basis, followed by such ingredients as onions, cut green beans, kidney beans, rutabagas and English peas. Virtually any ingredient that is appropriate for soup or stew can also be introduced into a stoup recipe.

Sometimes referred to as stewp, this tasty dish offers all the comforts of any hot soup or stew. Stoup is ideal fare for a rainy or cold day, as it can help to warm both the body and the spirit with its delicious blends of vegetables and meats. When preparation time is limited, it is possible to combine the ingredients for stoup into a crock pot and allow them to simmer for several hours while other tasks are completed. The aroma released by stoup as it simmers will help to make the home even more inviting at the end of a cold day.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By John57 — On Oct 04, 2011

I love to eat chicken soup any time of the year. I tend to make it more often in the colder months, but sometimes will make it in the summer as well.

I came across a chicken stoup recipe that has dumplings in it. It sounds harder to make than it really is. If I have all the ingredients on hand, it only takes about 30 minutes to put together.

It also has generous amounts of carrots and peas, so you are getting your vegetables as well. This is a stoup that is a complete meal in one.

I like to toast some slices of garlic bread to serve with the stoup. My family loves this and I can even get my picky 5 year old son to eat it. I think he likes the dumplings and chicken the best, but at least he doesn't turn up his nose at it.

By bagley79 — On Oct 03, 2011

I tried a wonderful Rachael Ray recipe for a spaghetti and meatball stoup. At first I thought it sounded kind of strange, but it is really delicious and hits the spot on a cold day.

I think stoups are perfect because a stew is often too thick, and a lot of soups are sometimes too thin. A stoup offers the perfect combination.

If you like tomato soup this sauce based stoup tastes a lot like tomato soup with some meatballs and spaghetti in it. It is one of those comforting, hearty meals.

I like to have some fresh bread to dunk in the soup with. If you are really hungry, you can add a salad, but it is filling enough that you don't even need one.

By JaneAir — On Oct 03, 2011

@indemnifyme - That sounds delicious.

I personally don't care if it's a stoup, stewp, soup, or stew, as long as it tasted good! In fact, I actually think the whole designation of stoup is sort of silly. It's kind of wishy-washy. Is it a soup or a stew? Pick one!

By indemnifyme — On Oct 03, 2011

I have a soup recipe I use all winter long that I am pretty sure actually classifies as a stoup. It's a chicken tortilla soup recipe that calls for shredded chicken as well as a bunch of canned items.

The canned items include a few different kinds of beans, corn, and several different types of tomatoes. When you make the soup, you aren't supposed to drain the beans. You just put the whole can in! I think that's part of what make this recipe a stoup instead of just being a regular soup.

Either way, it is very hearty and filling. I like to make a big pot for dinner one night, and then individually portion the rest into containers. I freeze the containers so we can eat the rest of the soup/stoup whenever we feel like it!

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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