Bouillon Spoon vs. Soup Spoon: Differences

Bouillon Spoon vs. Soup Spoon

Bouillon and soup are two delicacies that are beloved by many and frequent visitors to many tables. Whether you attend a formal dinner or lunch or are curled under a blanket, a bowl of soup always comes in handy. Bullion is essentially seasoned broth that contains no solid ingredients, while soup can have solids too. When served as a course in itself, bouillon is called soup, so to a great extent, both are synonymous. However, bouillon’s purposes go beyond soup, as you can use it as a base for other dishes. Still, when served in the kitchen, bouillon and soup have different appearances and are served differently, including the spoons they are served with. So what are the differences between a bouillon spoon and a soup spoon? 

The bouillon spoon is round and has a very shallow bottom. The soup spoon is oval and has a deep bottom. While you can fit the entire soup spoon in your mouth, the bouillon soup is not intended for that, as the shallow bottom and round shape don’t fit easily in your mouth. 

The bouillon and soup spoon are two different things, and knowing the differences, placements, and types is essential if you want to throw a fancy dinner party or find your way around the dinner table. In the following paragraphs, I will explain the differences between the bouillon and the soup spoon, the kinds of spoons, and how to place them. 

What Is a Bouillon Spoon?

A bouillon spoon is a spoon intended for clear soups containing no solid ingredients, with an entirely liquid consistency, and possibly some garnishes like parsley, mint, or similar. The bouillon spoon is round with smooth edges and a shallow bottom. It doesn’t hold a lot of bouillon inside and is shorter than the other types of spoons. 

It is usually 5 to 5.5 inches long, made of stainless steel, and it goes with the shallowest bowl. As bouillon doesn’t contain solid ingredients, the spoon and bowl are designed to contain just enough liquid to serve as a starter. 

There is another type of bouillon spoon, which is the Chinese bouillon spoon. It is entirely different than the regular bouillon spoon. It has very distinct features, from the material made to the shape and size. 

The Chinese bouillon spoon is made of porcelain or ceramic and is very lightweight. It has angles and edges, is not smooth and round, and has a deeper bottom than the regular bouillon spoon. It pairs with a deeper bouillon bowl; however not as deep as the soup bowl. 

Often, the Chinese bouillon spoon has a small hook-like ending on the handle, the purpose of which is to place it on the bowl while you are not eating. 

What Does a Bouillon Spoon Look Like?

The bouillon spoon is round and almost flat. Its bottom is very shallow, and it doesn’t hold much liquid. This spoon is intended for clear and entirely liquid soups containing no solid ingredients. 

The bullion spoon is shorter than the soup spoon, with the handle being about 5 to 5.5 inches long. It is made of stainless steel and isn’t as shiny as the soup spoon. Since bouillon is considered more of a rustic starter, and the soup is regarded as more elegant, the bouillon spoon has a less refined appearance than the soup spoon. 

What Is a Soup Spoon?

Soup is usually a starter, but it can be served in a different order if the soup comes later. Cream soups or soups with solid ingredients usually come later in the dinner as a main meal or an addition to the main meal. 

The soup spoon usually goes on the right side of the plate, assuming that the one eating is right-handed, and is placed on the outer side so that it is easily accessible for the soup as a starter. Depending on the order in which the soup comes, the soup spoon goes to the respective place at the table. 

The soup spoon is more elegant-looking than the bouillon spoon, has an oval shape, and has a deeper bottom. It is also made of stainless steel, has a longer handle, and is about 6 inches long. 

The soup spoon is intended for both cream soup and clear soup, and it holds more liquid than the bouillon spoon. Although it can fit easier in your mouth, it is considered bad manners to have a soup that way; touch the soup spoon and sip it. 

As with the bouillon spoon, the soup spoon has a Chinese counterpart, worthy of mentioning as it is very distinct. The Chinese often called the Asian soup spoon, is deeper than the regular soup spoon and often has a decoration inspired by Asian folklore. 

Just like the Chinese bouillon spoon, the Chinese or Asian soup spoon is light and made of porcelain or ceramic. It is round, not edgy, and has a shorter handle than the regular soup spoon. 

While the westerners sip their soups slowly and silently, the easterners slurp their soup to compliment the cook who made it. In fact, the louder you slurp, the bigger the compliment. 

Types of Soup Spoons?

Over 20 types of spoons largely vary from culture to culture and from cuisine to cuisine. However, not all of them are soup spoons. The soup spoon has three main sub-categories, the soup spoon, the bouillon spoon, and the Chinese or Asian bouillon and soup spoons. 

The bouillon spoons are flatter with shallower bottoms and shorter handles. They are wider and rounder, go with shallower bowls and don’t fit too much liquid. 

On the other hand, soup spoons are usually longer and contain more liquid than bouillon spoons. They are oval and go with a deep bowl. The soup spoon is intended for cream soup and soup that contains solids. 

What Is the Main Difference Between a Bouillon Spoon and a Soup Spoon?

The shape and size are the main differences between the bouillon soup and the soup spoon. While the bouillon soup is round and shallow, 5 to 5.5 inches long, the soup spoon is deeper, oval, and about 6 inches long. Even though they are made of the same material, stainless steel, the soup spoon has a more refined appearance and is more elegantly designed. 

Bouillon Spoon vs. Soup Spoon

Are a Table Spoon and a Soup Spoon the Same Thing?

Soupspoon and tablespoon are nearly the same things, but not quite. In the past table, spoons were used for soup, but nowadays, they are mostly used for measuring and mixing. However, you can still have soup with a tablespoon. 

Still, since food is tightly connected with culture, there are cultures where people don’t see a difference between a tablespoon and a soup spoon, and they have only one spoon they use for soup and measuring. 

Typically, the tablespoon is smaller than the soup spoon and doesn’t fit much liquid inside. It is narrower but deeper than the soup spoon. 

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!