Three men entered a restaurant in short succession, and sat separately about the restaurant. The day was cool and each ordered the house soup to start their meals.
The first man dug his spoon deep in the cup and pulled up a spoonful of several beans in a broth. He admired the warmth and heartiness of the rich bean soup. He took a few more bites before his pasta arrived, then, regrettably, ate too much of the pasta to finish the soup. In retrospect, he wished he had finished the soup, instead, as the pasta weighed heavily in his gut.
The second pushed his spoon through the cup and brought out potatoes and cabbage. A good potato stew was the perfect cure to the chill in his bones. When his sandwich arrived, he found the flavors of the stew complimented the pastrami well – though he was unable to finish either. As he paid his bill, he asked the waiter to give his compliments to the chef for the excellent potato stew.
The last man had arrived at the restaurant directly after working out at the gym with a friend. They agreed to meet at the restaurant but the man’s friend wanted to walk a while to cool down.
His soup arrived while he still waited for his friend. He skimmed his spoon across the top of the bowl and blew on the broth to cool it. The broth was rich with a slight tomato flavor, but not too heavy. He dipped a roll into the soup to soak up the flavor.
The broth was flavored by several vegetables and beans and he finished the bowl and the roll as his friend entered the restaurant. He was a bit embarrassed that he felt quite satiated after just the roll and broth, but his friend took it with humor and accepted his endorsement and assurance it was the perfect light meal after heavy exertion.
When the waiter arrived to take the friend’s order, he inquired, what was the house soup.
The waiter looked at the third man, toward his empty bowl then replied to his friend with a nod, “It’s always minestrone.”
As the friend placed his order for a bowl of the soup, a short burly man gusted in the door and barked something in Italian toward the kitchen.
The chef poked his head through the serving window and laughed, replying also in Italian and they both, as well as several others laughed again.
The friend looked to the waiter and asked, “Who is that?”
“Oh,” the waiter responded, “He’s just one of the capos.”
The third man and his friend looked at each other surprised and the third man said cautiously, with slight trepidation, “Interesting…”
“Nah,” said the waiter. “That capos a zero.”