Soup/Stew

polskajason

Member
English - American
What are the words for "soup" and "stew" in Slavic languages, and what sort of distinction exists between them?

In English there's a span, from thinnest to thickest:
- broth/bouillon
- consomme
- soup (general term)
- bisque
- potage
- stew (general term)
 
  • jasio

    Senior Member
    In Polish "soup" (a general term) is "zupa" (loaned from French) and "stew" is "gulasz" (loaned from Hungarian), but can also be "duszone mięso", "mięso w sosie", "boef strogonow", and more - depending on specific way of preparation, size of meet chunks, way of serving etc.

    In general, "zupa" is typically served before the main dish, as a starter, so it's more watery. Typically (not always) is served with pasta, potatoes, rice, chunks of vegetables, etc. inside. In fact, some soups do not even contain any meat, at all, like fruit soups, which resemble thin fruit compote. On the other hand, some other are really thick and calorick - especially those for winter season. For example "żurek" is really thick from flour, with meat and sausage chunks.

    On the other hand, "gulasz" is a main dish, and is much more "thick". It's still served in bowls though, often with some bread on a separate plate. However some dishes ("duszone mięso w sosie") are served on top of pasta, potatoes, groats - and they are thick enough to be served on a regular, flat plate. Or contain only small amount of water to avoid spilling. So it really depends.

    I'm not good at cooking, so I cannot create such a nice "scale", but on the "thinest" side I would place "smak na zupę" (water in which meat has been cooked) from which you can make variety of soups, depending on additional ingredients. Also "rosół" (a chicken soup) is quite thin. "Bulion" - very much depends on what you're going to do with it. Somewhere between "soup" and "gulasz" or "sos" ("sauce") there is "zupa-krem" or simply "krem" - quite thick, uniform, and typically do not contain solid particles - and typically made of
    vegetables.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    In Slovenian, the standard word is "juha". Colloquially/dialectally also "župa" (borrowed from German).

    There is also the word "čorba" borrowed from Serbian which is slightly pejorative and can refer to any liquid-ish food.

    The word "enolončnica" denotes a home-made stew (its name literally suggests "everything in one pot"), and then you have names for specific types of them, for example "ričet", "jota" etc.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    In Polish there is also an old word "polewka". It's not used nowadays, perhaps except for proper names of some dishes or as a fancy name in a restaurant, but I encountered cognate words in several slavic languages. I'm not sure about its specific scope of use, but it means something which can be poured (lać, polewać).
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    There is also the word "čorba" borrowed from Serbian
    That's interesting... Does this word apply consistently to any dish, or is it used merely as a pejorative name for a liquid food?

    I remember that when I was in Bulgaria decades ago, there were soups consistently named 'sup', and others consistently named čorba - like lešta čorba for example. Someone then recalled that in former South-eastern Poland (nowadays western Ukraine), some soups, apparently of Turkish origins, used to be called 'tyrba' and suggested that perhaps it was also the case in Bulgaria - that soups of the Turkish tradition could have been called chorba, and of the European tradition - sup. I've never confirmed this theory though.
     
    Last edited:

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    In Polish there is also an old word "polewka". It's not used nowadays, perhaps except for proper names of some dishes or as a fancy name in a restaurant, but I encountered cognate words in several slavic languages. I'm not sure about its specific scope of use, but it means something which can be poured (lać, polewać).

    If I'm not mistaken "polevka" is the standard word for soup in Czech/Slovak.

    That's interesting... Does this word apply consistently to any dish, or is it used merely as a pejorative name for a liquid food?

    The dictionary says: 1) a bad, thin food, usually a soup; 2) a bad drink, usually coffee; 3) in gastronomy, a Serbian vegetable and meat soup, heavily spiced

    In my experience and usage, it mostly refers to a bad quality soup or enolončnica. Some people might also be familiar with the "ribja čorba" which is the usual name for a fish soup (borrowed from Serbian "riblja čorba" no doubt), but the dish itself is foreign to us so no wonder we took the word as well. There is also a famous Serbian rock group of the same name so exposure to the term is even bigger. The word čorba itself is from Turkish, yes.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    If I'm not mistaken "polevka" is the standard word for soup in Czech/Slovak.
    Indeed, it's "polévka" in Czech and "polievka" in Slovak.

    The dictionary says: 1) a bad, thin food, usually a soup; 2) a bad drink, usually coffee; 3) in gastronomy, a Serbian vegetable and meat soup, heavily spiced

    In my experience and usage, it mostly refers to a bad quality soup or enolončnica.
    Thank you.
     

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    In Serbian language, the standard word for soup is "supa". Supa and čorba are not synonyms. You are right, certain dishes are consistently supa while others are čorba.

    Čorba usually refers to thicker soup, or a soup with vegetables or meat inside, or a soup with something like a tomato soup, fish soup, etc.

    Gulaš in Serbian is a completely different thing, not a type of soup. It's a type of very thick sauce with meat which can be eaten either with pasta or potatoes or something (but I'm not an expert on food, so...).

    Generally I'd translate soup as supa, and stew as čorba, however it doesn't really match with English. Many things which are a soup in English are a čorba in Serbian.

    A soup is like a traditional yellow soup in Serbian with either dumplings or noodles. When it has something inside, like if it is thicker, or it changes colour, etc. - it becomes a čorba.

    That's at least how I've been using these words.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Isn't that a borrowing from German? Phonetically it's almost identical to the German Suppe.
    You're right, indeed.

    In fact, on wiktionary I've found traces suggesting that the French word "comes from Middle French souppe, from Old French sope, supe, soupe, from Late Latin suppa (“sopped bread”), from Proto-Germanic *supô" - and apparently is cognate to the German word Suppe coming from "Middle Low German suppe, soppe, sope, which spread under the reinforcing influence of French soupe. Both from Proto-Germanic *supô, *suppô, *suppǭ (“broth, sop”), which is related to German saufen (“to drink”)".

    Interesting - and looks a bit unusual to me, especially with Late Latin borrowing words from Proto-Germanic.
     

    karaluszek

    Member
    Polish
    Both from Proto-Germanic *supô, *suppô, *suppǭ (“broth, sop”), which is related to German saufen (“to drink”)".
    And English sup (drink slowly). But the root is much older, Proto-Indo-European. Etymonline states:
    from PIE *sub-, possibly an extended form of root *seue- (2) "to take liquid" (source also of Sanskrit sunoti "presses out juice," soma; Avestan haoma, Persian hom "juice;" Greek huetos "rain," huein "to rain;" Latin sugere "to suck," succus "juice, sap;" Lithuanian sula "flowing sap;" Old Church Slavonic soku "sap," susati "suck;" Middle Irish suth "sap;" Old English seaw "sap").
     

    Irbis

    Senior Member
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    In Slovenian, the standard word is "juha". Colloquially/dialectally also "župa" (borrowed from German).

    There is also the word "čorba" borrowed from Serbian which is slightly pejorative and can refer to any liquid-ish food.

    The word "enolončnica" denotes a home-made stew (its name literally suggests "everything in one pot"), and then you have names for specific types of them, for example "ričet", "jota" etc.

    I would add "obara" for Slovenian (thicker than soup, made of meat (chicken, rabbit) and vegetables). Also called "ajmoht" colloquially (from German Eingemachte).
     

    marco_2

    Senior Member
    Polish
    In Slovenian, the standard word is "juha". In Old Polish "jucha" meant 'blood', especially of a slaughtered animal. And in south-eastern Poland there was a word 'juszka' for either a very watery soup (rather pejorative) or for the liquid from the soup - e.g. when someone, eating broth / bouillon, prefers to consume the liquid part of it first and then the rest (pasta, chunks of meat, etc.), we say that they eat 'juszka' first.
     

    karaluszek

    Member
    Polish
    In Old Polish "jucha" meant 'blood', especially of a slaughtered animal.
    This is rather later meaning, Middle Polish. In Old Polish jucha meant "broth, soup, sauce, juice" (from Proto-Slavic *juxa - "broth, soup").
     
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