Cup-a-Soup is an instant soup product sold under various brands worldwide. The soup is sold in sachets of powder which can be poured into a mug or cup, which is then filled with near-boiling water and stirred.
In the United States and Canada the product is manufactured and marketed by Unilever's Lipton brand, and in Australia under the Continental brand. In the United Kingdom the product is sold as Batchelors Cup-a-Soup, a brand which is now owned by Premier Foods. In the Netherlands it's sold under the Unox brand. In South Africa it's sold under the Knorr brand.
Popular flavors[where?] include minestrone, chicken noodle, tomato soup and chicken and vegetable. Low-calorie versions also exist in the UK, under the name "Slim-a-Soup", and include slightly different flavours, such as Mediterranean tomato. 2007 saw the introduction of "Cup-a-Soup Extra",[where?] individual sachets of soup and pasta sold in a variety of flavours, including cheese and broccoli (with tagliatelle), chicken and mushroom (with pasta), minestrone, and Tangy Salsa Tomato.
Batchelor's Cup-a-Soup Extra ("A Great Big Hug in a Mug") Minestrone with Pasta lists the following ingredients as served (greatest first): Water, Pasta (18%), Vegetables (5%) (Carrot 2%, onion, peas (0.5%), leek), maize starch, potato starch, sugar, salt, flavouring (contains milk, barley), glucose syrup, flavour enhancers (monosodium glutamate, disodium-ribonucleotides, parsley, yeast extract, hydrogenated vegetable oil).
In popular culture
Cup-a-soups featured prominently in the Reeves and Mortimer sketch 'Slade in Residence' with the band being avid consumers of the instant soups. It is also mentioned in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.
Grammarians have argued as to the correct plural form of Cup-a-Soup. Some believe the correct form is "Cups-a-Soup", whereas others contest that being a registered trademark the correct form is "Cup-a-Soups". The International Trademark Association's position is that trademarks should always be used as adjectives rather than nouns, which would make the correct plural "cups of Cup-a-Soup soup".
- BBC Radio 4's A Word In Your Ear, first broadcast on March 17, 1987.