What Is Liver Soup?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Liver soup is a popular dish in several Asian countries and is usually made with pork liver. It is an inexpensive soup historically regarded as a poor man’s food. The recipes vary, but it is often made with stock and vegetables and then thickened with flour. Liver is a relatively healthy food, full of necessary vitamins and protein, and when combined with vegetables and water, liver soup makes a cheap but healthy meal. There are also different types of liver, which can change the flavor of the soup.

Like some other cheap meat dishes, liver soup was once considered food eaten by only poor people. For example, the American lobster was also poor man’s food until well into the 1900s. Even though these foods are not especially bad for a human, the people in higher society did not consider lobster and liver worthy of them. The opinions of both liver and lobster have changed over time, with both being delicacies in some places.


This kind of soup is basically liver, vegetables, and water. The vegetables are washed and sliced and then placed into a pot with stock. Any kind of stock can be used, so most cooks use whatever they have on hand, be it beef or chicken stock. The liver is sliced, and the extra fat is discarded or used to fry the vegetables to add flavor. Once everything is heated, the soup is thickened with flour and let to cook until the vegetables soften and the meat is done.

Liver soup is a very healthy food, packed with nutrition that gives people energy and keeps their bodies in tip-top shape. Some potential downsides are its high cholesterol and saturated fat content. Liver is relatively balanced when it comes to good and bad traits, though. Still, health associations generally recommend less consumption of organ meats and more focus on poultry and fish. Calf liver in particular has been consumed for thousands of years and is sometimes considered a delicacy.

Lamb, calf, and pig liver are commonly used to make liver soup. Calf liver is usually the most expensive liver available because its tender flavor is prized. Pig liver tends to be the cheapest liver because its taste is strong and distinct and can be unpleasant to some people. Lamb liver is a good middle-ground when taking price in mind, but its flavor is usually somewhere between pig and calf.


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Post 1

Liver *soup*? Oh, dear Lord. I never even contemplated such a thing. The "Bizarre Foods" guy has probably eaten this by the gallon.

I don't eat organ meats *at all,* but I've never even run across a recipe for this stuff. The very idea turns my stomach. Just -- eeww.

I certainly don't criticize or look down on people for eating what is available, but this is one of those cultural divides I just can't get across.

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