Eternal Debates – Is Cereal Soup?

Can you have soup for breakfast?

Breakfast cereal has been a beloved part of an allegedly balanced breakfast for decades now.  

From the sugar-packed, colorful shapes of childhood to the bland, brown squares of oat and corn enjoyed into adulthood, there’s always a good time for a bowl of cereal with milk.  

But some people have noticed a similarity between cereal and another category of dish: soup. It’s an understandable comparison (I guess); they both have solid and liquid elements, and they’re both eaten from a bowl with a spoon. So the question is this: is cereal a soup? 

Soup usually contains meat and/or vegetables, while cereal contains grains and, occasionally, fruit. You can have grains and fruit in a soup, but you can’t have meat or vegetables in cereal, or at least you shouldn’t. 

Soup is also meant to be served hot, whereas cereal is kept cold, or at least room temperature.  

Now you might be thinking “what about gazpacho? What about oatmeal?” Gazpacho is just tomato soup served cold. Tomato soup was made to be served hot (preferably with a grilled cheese), and no, I don’t care which came first.  

As for oatmeal, that’s not a cereal. It’s just loose oats boiled in hot water. Oatmeal is cereal like cereal is soup, which is to say not at all. 

QED, cereal is not soup because, in spite of existing similarities. It’s missing the most important, existence-defining components of soup. 

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