Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

What is the Difference Between Stew, Soup, and Chowder?

There are so many different terms for foods. Sometimes it can be hard to tell one from the other. For example, how many of you had families who made stew that was more like soup? Not everyone makes a thick stew. So, what is the real difference?

A stew is a dish made from two or more ingredients stewed in liquid. The liquid is usually thickened into a gravy, but not always. The ingredients are usually in chunks that may take more than a bite to eat. The meats in stews are often browned before being added to the mix. When browned in the pan the stew will be cooked in, all the little tasty bits get added to the stew.

There are many types of stews like Irish stew, Mulligan stew, burgoo, Brunswick stew, and bouillabaisse. While they may be very different, they still share certain qualities. Stews are usually cooked slowly to tenderize the ingredients. While most stews contain meat, it is possible to make vegetable stew, too. Stew can be made with any meat you have on hand, and at times have been made with squirrel, seafood, lamb, goat, beef and more. There is nothing like a heaping bowl of stew for dinner.

Soups have a lot more leeway. Basically, a soup is any mixture of foods cooked in a liquid. Soups can be clear like consommé or thick like a bisque. Some well known soups include borscht, which is made from beets, gazpacho, which is an uncooked soup made from pureed vegetables, and posole, which is a thick Mexican soup. Soups can have bite sized chunks in a broth or tiny grains in it like barley or rice. You cannot really heap soup in a bowl. The contents should always present a flat surface with the exception of an ingredient or more breaking the surface.

Chowder is a chunky soup, usually with a thick broth. Most people think of a seafood based chowder like clam chowder, but you can also find recipes for ham and corn chowder, potato chowder, and many others. Chowders are usually rich and may be milk based or tomato based. Many chowders use flour as a thickening agent.

Depending on your own cooking preferences, some of these qualities may be interchangeable. Some people make stews with soupy broths; others prefer really thick soups like potato, split pea and so on. Generally, what you call the contents of your cooking pot is up to you. One cook stated like this: “It’s not so much the thickness, like most people seem to think, but more that stews are more about the ingredients while soups are more about the broth.” That sums it up quite well, actually.

We will let you decide what you get in your own kitchen. Call it what you like. If it looks like stew, tell everyone it is a stew. If it looks like soup, call it a soup. We will not tell anyone.

FAQs

While soups can be thin and light, a chowder is characterized by being rich and thick. Like stew, it contains large chunks of meat or seafood and vegetables, notably potatoes.

A dish can be categorized as a “stew” based mainly on the ratio of liquid to meat, poultry, or vegetables. As opposed to the contents of a soup, the ingredients in a stew are only slightly covered by a liquid like broth or tomato sauce.

Stews get their flavor from the liquids they’re cooked in (think beef burgundy) and when finished, there’s usually less liquid than in a soup and larger pieces of meat and vegetables. Bisques are typically shellfish cooked in a flavored liquid then puréed.

A chowder is a rich, hearty soup with seafood or chicken that starts with a base of salt pork or bacon and a mix of vegetables like onions, celery, and potatoes. Most chowders are creamy, but one in particular—Manhattan clam chowder—has a tomato base.

A New England Clam Chowder is creamy and thick like you’re sipping a gravy with tender chunks of potatoes that almost feel like it melts in your month. You’ll also love the contrasting flavor of the saltiness and smokiness of the bacon and the fading bitterness of fresh “oceany” clams.

Related Posts

Why Trust Us

You will find what you are looking for at Jody's Bakery. From classic to luxury brands, you'll find both. We will help you to select appliances that fit your needs, budget and lifestyle. Whether you want to stop by to learn more — or plan to make a major purchase — we’ll treat you like family and assist you every step of the way. Shop with us today to receive friendly and experienced help along the way.

Tags:

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Best Deals For You

      Best price
      Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro

      30

      The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro has truly elevated my cooking experience. With its precise water circulation at the exact temperature needed, I've achieved perfect results every time, eliminating the risk of over or undercooking my meals. Sous vide cooking with this device has proven to be ...

      $286.00 $399.00 Buy It Now
      Best seller
      Lodge 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned Skillet
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Lodge 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned Skillet

      40

      The Lodge 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned Skillet is a versatile and durable kitchen essential, perfect for beginners, home cooks, and chefs alike. Crafted in America with iron and oil, this skillet is designed to handle any kitchen cooktop, oven, grill, or open flame. One of the standout features of Lodge cast ...

      $19.90 $34.25 Buy It Now
      Best seller
      Tovolo Vented Collapsible Medium Microwave Cover
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Tovolo Vented Collapsible Medium Microwave Cover

      20

      The Tovolo Vented Collapsible Medium Microwave Cover is a versatile and practical kitchen accessory designed to enhance your microwave cooking experience. This cover features perforated lids that protect your microwave from splatters and spots. Crafted from BPA-free plastic and silicone, the topper covers food to ...

      Best value
      Nostalgia MyMini Personal Electric Skillet
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Nostalgia MyMini Personal Electric Skillet

      60

      The Nostalgia MyMini Personal Electric Skillet is a versatile and convenient appliance for on-the-go meals. It offers a quick and healthier way to cook a variety of dishes, including ramen noodles, pasta, mac and cheese, steamed rice, stir fry, omelets, hard-boiled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, cookies, ...

      Best seller
      Elite Gourmet EG6207 Fry Pan
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Elite Gourmet EG6207 Fry Pan

      31

      The Elite Gourmet EG6207 Fry Pan is a versatile and convenient addition to any kitchen. With its 10.5-inch size, it allows you to expand your cooking capabilities without the need for remodeling. The non-stick marble stone coating and cast-in heating element make cooking and clean-up a breeze. Whether you're whipping ...

      Braun MQ7035X 3-in-1 Immersion Hand
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Braun MQ7035X 3-in-1 Immersion Hand

      50

      The Braun MQ7035X 3-in-1 Immersion Hand Blender stands out with its innovative features and versatile functionality. The Easy SmartSpeed technology allows for single-hand operation with no predefined speed settings. Simply follow your intuition by pushing gently for roughly chopped results and increasing the ...

      $99.95 $109.95 Buy It Now
      Editor choice
      Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine

      30

      The Breville the Barista Pro Espresso Machine offers a barista-quality performance with a user-friendly interface, making it easy to create third wave specialty coffee in the comfort of your home. The integrated grinder ensures that the right amount of freshly ground coffee is delivered on demand, resulting in a rich ...

      $699.95 Buy It Now
      Editor choice
      Cuisinart PRS-50 Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Cuisinart PRS-50 Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment

      100

      Cuisinart PRS-50 Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment is a perfect addition to your Precision Master Stand Mixer, allowing you to create a variety of homemade fresh pasta with ease. This attachment includes both spaghetti and fettuccine cutters, as well as a pasta roller, offering versatility in pasta shapes and ...

      $161.00 $179.95 Buy It Now
      Editor choice
      Instant Stand Mixer Pro
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Instant Stand Mixer Pro

      40

      Instant Stand Mixer Pro delivers powerful performance with its 600-watt motor, making it a versatile kitchen companion for a variety of culinary tasks. From whipping smooth meringues to kneading yeast dough, this stand mixer handles it all with ease. Featuring a digital interface, the mixer offers 10 speed ...

      $280.64 $299.99 Buy It Now
      Editor choice
      Koolatron 6 Bottle Wine Cooler
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Koolatron 6 Bottle Wine Cooler

      90

      The Koolatron 6 Bottle Wine Cooler offers an affordable and elegant solution for wine enthusiasts, providing a stylish and compact freestanding design that accommodates up to 6 standard-sized wine bottles. This wine fridge is a perfect addition to any table or countertop, allowing you to enjoy your favorite vintages ...

      $96.98 $199.99 Buy It Now
      Editor choice
      Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster

      70

      Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster is a versatile and user-friendly appliance designed to make toasting a breeze. With slots wider than those on many 2-slice toasters, this toaster accommodates thicker breads, bagels, and other specialty bread items effortlessly. The extra-wide slots ensure a perfect ...

      Best value
      Hamilton Beach Blender Combo
      SaveSavedRemoved 0

      Hamilton Beach Blender Combo

      40

      The Hamilton Beach Blender for Shakes and Smoothies & Food Processor Combo offers impressive 3-in-1 versatility, making it a powerhouse in the kitchen. This combo includes a 40 oz. glass blending jar for larger servings, a 20 oz. blend-in personal blender travel jar for on-the-go convenience, and a 3-cup ...

      $67.76 $74.99 Buy It Now
      Show next
      Jody's Bakery
      Logo
      Compare items
      • Total (0)
      Compare
      0
      Shopping cart