Bouillon Spoon vs Soup Spoon. (What you need to know!)

This article will clarify some of the fundamental differences between a bouillon spoon and a soup spoon. We will also go over their specific culinary use and discuss the type of food they are commonly associated with.

Bouillon Spoon vs Soup Spoon. (What you need to know!)

A bouillon spoon is used for eating clear broth soups and jellied soups. It has a round bowl and a short handle. It is traditionally made of stainless steel varying in strength and durability. Bouillon spoons cannot be used for consuming thick and creamy soups. 

A soup spoon is a general category of spoons used for consuming creamy and thick soups, like chowders. They are also round bowled, a design that fits with the round edges of the soup bowl. They are more often used in sophisticated dinner settings.

What is a bouillon spoon?

A bouillon spoon is a short-handled spoon with a round bowl. It is different from traditional spoons which have an oval bowl. 

Bouillon spoons are used for consuming clear broths, soups, and jelly-based soups. The round bowl of the bouillon spoon fits the round curvature of a soup bowl.

The bowl of the spoon is large and hence cannot fit into the mouth therefore, the soup is actually sipped from the side of the spoon bowl. Bouillon spoons are used for only clear broths. 

They should not be used to consume thick soups or heavy stews. Bouillon is a french word that means “broth”. Therefore, the bouillon spoon is actually named after the type of soups it is designed for.

What are the alternatives for a bouillon spoon?

As an alternative to bouillon spoons, dinner spoons can be used. Dinner spoons are a little bit shallow than bouillon spoons with an oval shaped bowl. Dinner spoons have a long handle and are designed to hold small amounts of liquids and solid foods like rice, vegetables, etc. 

Dessert spoons are also a good alternative for bouillon spoons. They have a longer handle than dinner spoons and a shallower bowl. Many restaurants sometimes use both dinner spoons and dessert spoons interchangeably.

What is the formal placement of a bouillon and soup spoon?

There is no hard and fast rule for the placement of soup or bouillon spoons. For most 3 course meals, soup is served in the beginning therefore the soup spoon is placed on the outer right side of the plate, next to the dinner knife. 

This arrangement is for the ease of the guests who are mostly right handed. In case of a left handed guest or a different time for soup serving, the placement of the spoons can be changed and adjusted according to the menu sequence. 

What is a soup spoon?

Soupspoon is a general term that encompasses different varieties of spoons used for consuming soups. However, it usually refers to cream soup spoons. Cream soup spoons are used for thicker types of soups such as chowders. 

Soup spoons also have rounded bowls that are designed to fit the side of soup bowls. Heavy and cream soups are usually served in more sophisticated settings therefore, soup spoons are generally used in a sophisticated cuisine. Soup spoons come in different sizes and can be customized based on the consuming and serving requirements.

What is a soup spoon used for?

Soup spoons are mainly used for consuming thick and heavy soups. However, different types of soup spoons have different uses. Some of them are listed below:

  • Stews
  • Ice creams are sometimes consumed with the help of soup spoons.
  • Serving purposes (spoons with big handles i.e ladles)
  • Cream chowders and mushroom soups 

The round-shaped bowl of soup spoons helps hold liquid safely and therefore is used for consuming liquid foods and thick soups alike. 

What are the types of soup spoon?

Soup spoons have many types. The main 3 include:

Western style soup spoon 

This spoon is the basic round bowled soup spoon. It is traditionally made of wood but in the modern times,stainless steel is the go-to material.

Ladle spoon

Ladle spoons are still mostly made of wood. They have a long vertical handle and the depth of the spoon bowl is enough to hold a substantial amount of fluid. It is usually used for pouring soup among other things.

Chinese soup spoon

Chinese soup spoons are made of ceramic material and have a flat bottom. The ladle is small and curved. They have a deep bowl to hold the soup as well as other ingredients like ramen, udon, wonton, etc. 

Click here to know more about types of spoons. 


In this article, we defined the difference between a bouillon spoon and a soup spoon, we also discussed their uses and also mentioned the culinary setting and food they are associated with.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.