Our expert Shital Kakkar Mehra gives us some tips to have soup in a well-mannered way during a business meal
Soup is one dish that attracts numerous questions during workshops and seminars. How do you have your soup? Shital Kakkar Mehra gives some soup talk...
While in attendance at a business seminar or any workshop, participants are left in doubt on how to drink soups. What if you slurp? What if it drops? Should you dip the bread in it? Following are few tips for sipping soup:
Thick soups are served in a soup dish/ bowl and are eaten using a soup spoon.
Thin soups (e.g. Japanese Miso) are served in cups, like tea/coffee, and are drunk by bringing the cup to the lips using both hands. The vegetables/ noodles are eaten using a spoon.
At formal dinners, the soup course is served in flat soup plates (wide-rimmed shallow bowl), placed on an under plate.
SPOONING THE SOUP
Holding the soup spoon in your right hand (lefthanded persons can use their left hand), spoon the soup away from you i.e. towards the outer rim of the dish.
DIPPING THE SPOON
Although not strictly followed today, it is best to dip the soup spoon sideways and sip noiselessly from the side of the spoon, preventing it from dripping on you.
Stirring vigorously, blowing into it or dropping ice cubes is handy when cooling baby food but not when cooling soup in a business dinner! Let the soup rest for a couple of minutes and check the temperature by taking a tiny bit on the soup spoon and touching it with the tip of your tongue (the best indicator of temperature).
DUNKING BREAD IN THE SOUP
Great in the privacy of your home, not at a business meal.
Traditional accompaniments, served separately. Scatter a few over the soup.
Either drink the soup or eat the bread but not simultaneously (i.e. bread in one hand and soup spoon in the other).
Resist the urge to load the soup with salt / pepper / soya and chili sauce without even tasting it.
TIPPING THE SOUP BOWL
It is obviously not possible to drink every last drop of soup, so don't feel guilty about leaving a spoonful behind! To retrieve the last few spoonfuls, lightly tip the bowl away from you and collect the soup at the edge.
Place the spoon on the right side of the under plate.
And last but not the least, sip not slurp!
It is best to dip the soup spoon sideways and sip noiselessly from the side of the spoon
Shital Kakkar Mehra Practitioner of Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol in India