Do You Eat Or Drink Soup?

It’s time, ladies and gentlemen – today we answer an age-old question; do you eat or drink soup? Yeah, that’s right. DreamyHome is here to answer the truly most evasive questions mankind has ever dared to ask. It’s right up there with, “why did the chicken cross the road?” and “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” The answer to the latter, by the way, is the egg – just not laid by a chicken.

The question, “do you eat or drink soup” has one answer – you eat it.

Let’s break this down, shall we?


That’s right – we’re going an academic route with this one. While the question is (on the surface) a simple one, there’s actually a bit of nuance to this discussion. Before coming to a conclusion, we must break it down to its most vital components. So what do each of these keywords mean?

Eat – Definition

“Eat” is defined by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary with two meanings:

  1. To take food into your mouth and swallow it;
  2. To gradually destroy, use, or take away something: to wear something away.

So in order to eat something, you must bring food into your mouth and swallow it and/or destroy or wear it away. This brings up the question of what “food” is, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Drink – Definition

“Drink” is defined by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary with two meanings as well:

  1. Swallow, imbibe
  2. To take in or suck up: Absorb

Now, these definitions don’t specify food in any way, shape, or form. They do, however, clarify that the word drink can be used with non-food materials, such as bringing air into one’s lungs or drinking up information. One might argue that “imbibe” insinuates that one is bringing in nutrients through that action – they would be wrong.

Imibibe – Definition

“Imbibe” is defined by the Mirriam Webster dictionary primarily as:

  1. Drink
  2. To take in or up

Neither of these definitions actually clarifies that one can drink food.

Soup – Definition

“Soup” is defined by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary with several meanings:

  1. A food made by cooking vegetables, meat, or fish in a large amount of liquid;
  2. A liquid food especially with a meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and often containing pieces of solid food.

So now it’s up to the question we raised before – what is food?

Food – Definition

Food” is defined by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary as:

  1. The things that people and animals eat.

The Answer According to the Internet

Now, before we answer this definitively, we should get an idea of public opinion. This has been an ongoing argument for a long time, so it’s important that we know what others think. After all, this is a discussion, right?

Let’s see what Reddit has to say. This couldn’t possibly go wrong, could it?

“Why not both? You eat the solid part and drink the liquid part. That’s literally how I consume some soups, like ramen. Eat the noodles, tip the bowl up and drink the broth.”

Reddit user Citizenoftheorionarm

Drink I’d say. If a soup is thick enough that you have to chew I’d call it a stew.

Reddit user Pdoxney

And then we’ve got answers from readers of The Guardian:

“You eat it from a soup dish, but you drink it from a mug.”

Hanne, Norwich, UK

“Definitely eat. We don’t seem to have this problem with other liquid food stuffs. No one would suggest that we drink gravy, or ketchup or baked beans in sauce, so why soup?”

Geof Walker, London, UK

There seems to be quite a bit of controversy here, isn’t there? Well, some were right, some were wrong – let’s get to the final etymological answer.

The Answer According to the English Language

Now keep in mind – this answer may vary in other languages. But in English (what you’re reading right now, and the question in which the query was asked), you eat soup. That is based entirely on the definition of the most important keywords in the question.

According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary, drinking doesn’t necessarily involve any edible or nutritional substance. One can drink water, air, and information equally. On the other hand, in order to eat, you must bring food to your mouth. Food is what people eat, according to the dictionary definition – and soup is (also according to the dictionary), food.

Therefore, the question is finally answered. You eat soup, regardless of its container or form. Noodles, dumplings, meat, and veggies make no difference. No matter how solid or liquid the soup is, you eat it.

I made a few enemies with this, didn’t I?