11 Soup Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

Soup Etiquette
When it comes to soup etiquette, avoid slurping, blowing on the soup, or sipping it from the tip of the spoon. Instead, give the soup a few minutes to cool and use the side of the spoon to sip it quietly.

1. Don’t bend head all-in

Boy bending all-in to eat soup
Boy bending all-in to eat soup

Bending your head completely in towards the soup bowl or cup is inappropriate. Instead, bend slightly without slumping. Ensure your back is straight, then raise the spoon to your mouth.

2. Scoop away to avoid dripping

The saying “Like ships that go out to sea, I spoon my soup away from me” is a reminder of how to scoop soup. Scoop it away from you to allow the spills to go back into the bowl. Most spillages on clothing are caused by spooning soup inwards.

When scooping away, use the top edge of your bowl to wipe your spoon’s bottom. If you want to scoop the last bit, tip the bowl away to enjoy that last spoonful.

3. Gently blow or wait to cool off but avoid slurping

Slurping is bad table manners; it’s messy and distracting to other people. Wait for your soup to cool to deal with slurping. You can scoop the top, which is cool, and sip from the side of the spoon. Blowing gently to cool off is allowed.

Another proper way to let your soup cool off is to fill your spoon slightly more than half. Then hold the spoon on top of your bowl of soup.

4. Sip from the side of the spoon

Eating soup from the side of the spoon is a proper dining etiquette practice. It is a way to avoid slurping or making a loud noise while sipping, which can be considered impolite or disrespectful in certain cultures.

Sipping from the side of the spoon can also help prevent spills or splatters, as it allows you to control the flow of the soup into your mouth. It also helps cool down the soup slightly, making it more comfortable to consume.

5. Add little crackers at a time

Adding crackers to soup a few at a time is often done to control the crunchiness and sogginess of the crackers in the soup. Don’t crumble crackers. This can make them overly soggy, whereas adding too few crackers can leave the soup too thin or lacking in texture.

When adding oyster crackers in small increments, you can gauge the desired texture and thickness of the soup while ensuring that the crackers do not become too mushy.

6. Avoid holding bread and spoon together

Hold each item one by one. Holding bread and spoon together is a common mistake people make when consuming soup.

When using the spoon, the bread should be on your plate. Place the spoon on the plate or bowl when you need to bite into the bread.

7. Don’t dip bread in the soup

Dipping bread in soup
Dipping bread in soup

When eating bread with soup, you should first sip from your spoon. Put the spoon on your plate, and then pick up the bread with the same hand that you used for the spoon. Never dip your bread into your soup to prevent spilling soup on your clothes.

8. Twirl the cheese while having french onion soup

With the increasing trend of french onion soup, it becomes vital to learn its eating etiquette. Push the baked cheese up against the cup’s rim or bowl using the soup spoon and a knife, then slice it thinly with the knife.

You can use the knife or a fork once more to push cheese fragments onto the spoon after you’ve overcome the cheese barrier.

You can twirl a cheese strand around the spoon’s widest portion before cutting at the edge with a fork or knife. You can also cut the cheese strand by pressing it on the edge of the bowl. You can then sip your soup without worrying about cheese clumps.

9. Use a bread plate for saltines

Using bread plate with soup
Using bread plate with soup

A bread plate is a small dish used for serving bread during a meal. You can also use a bread plate to serve saltines or other crackers.

Here are the steps on how to use a bread plate for saltines:

  • Place the plate at the top left of your dinner plate.
  • Place a small stack of saltine crackers on the plate.
  • If you have a separate butter knife or cheese spreader, you can place it on the plate for guests to use when spreading butter or cheese onto their saltine crackers.
  • If you don’t have a separate utensil, you can place a small dollop of butter or cheese on the plate next to the stack of saltine crackers.

Remember to keep the plate clean and tidy and replenish the crackers throughout the meal.

You may also like: 8 Napkin Etiquette Rules & Tips

10. Sprinkle garnishes carefully

Choose the garnish you want to use and prepare it accordingly. Sprinkle the garnish carefully to avoid putting too much.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use garnishes that complement the flavors of the soup. For example, if you’re serving creamy tomato soup, sprinkle some fresh basil over the top.
  • Don’t add too much garnish. A little goes a long way, and you want to ensure the soup’s flavor is manageable.
  • Be creative with your garnishes. You can use anything from croutons to sliced avocado to add texture and flavor to your soup.
  • If you’re serving a larger group, you can arrange the garnish in a separate bowl or plate and let people add it to their soup.

11. Place spoon on underplate when served in small cup/bowl

When serving soup in a small soup cup or bowl, it is appropriate to place the spoon on the underplate or saucer that accompanies the cup or bowl. This is proper etiquette as it prevents the spoon from falling.

The service plate is not needed when serving soup on a soup plate because the spoon can fit on the soup plate.


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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