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Utensil Placement of Soup Spoon When Finished

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I am really confused. I was at a restaurant and put my soup spoon on the service plate when finished, but was later told by my sister-in-law that the soup spoon should stay in the soup dish and not the plate.


Who is right?

Dear Who is right,

It depends on whether the soup was served in a bowl or soup plate. Typically, soup is served in the former, but if you were dining in a more formal setting, then you may have had a soup plate. The soup plate in this case is a wide shallow rimmed dish that sits on top of the service plate or underplate and nearly the same width as the underplate.

When a soup plate is used, then the spoon is left on that plate, not on the underplate. If soup is served in a bowl or cup, then the spoon is placed on the underplate when finished.