Difference Between Soup and Chowder

Soup vs Chowder

We all love to get some respite from regular food items at times. Soups in the form of warm liquids food items provide us with the change we are looking in our food. Mothers around the world make soups to make their kids come to dining tables, and millions order tasty vegetable and nonvegetarian soups when they want appetizers before the main course in a restaurant. There is another liquid food item called chowder that is very confusing as it is very similar in appearance and taste to soups. This article attempts to differentiate between soup and chowder, to enable readers to choose the right liquid diet depending upon their liking.


To be talking about soup, trying to define it seems so foolhardy as we all have been consuming soups of different varieties since our childhood. We all love to have our tomato soups as well as chicken soups as they are not just delicious, they seem to make us hungrier. Soup is a hot liquid food item that is prepared by heating meats or vegetables in water, letting the ingredients simmer until the flavor of the ingredients gets extracted in the broth.

Soups can be of two broad categories, clear ones and thick soups. Thick soups are made using thickening agents such as flours, rice, grains, starch and so on. Soups are light and thin often recommended for sick people to give them strength and protein so that they get well soon.


Chowder is a thick soup variety that is chunky and has traditionally been associated with seafood. The origin of the term chowder is shrouded in mystery, though, many believe that the word comes from a French word referring to pots used by fishermen, to prepare stews of different kinds.

Of late, however, the word chowder has come to refer to many varieties of thick, creamier soups that do not have seafood as their main ingredients. In this regard, chowders seem to be closer to stews than soups as they have chunky pieces of seafood or other ingredients. They are also very creamy, almost looking like having been made through milk instead of water.

In earlier times, chowder essentially had seafood as its main ingredient. Over time, however, many different flavors have been developed and seafood has given way to chunks of meats and even vegetables to make chowder lose its original flavor of seafood.

What is the difference between Soup and Chowder?

• Chowder is a type of soup so it is hard to differentiate. It is like asking to differentiate between a car and Ford.

• However, chowder has French roots and is a thicker, creamier type of soup that originally contained seafood as the main ingredients

• Soups are light and thin, but chowder is thick and creamier.

• Today, one can have corn chowder as well as crab chowder while soups can be made with almost anything from tomato to chicken