"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.