Soups can be classified into four different types, based on the effect they give you upon use. The first type is Curry, popular with melee jobs (especially for Dark Knights), all have the Resist Sleep effect. The second type is Soups, which benefit the user greatly depending on what kind they choose. The third type is Stews, which are similar to soups but are stronger in stats. The fourth type is Stewpots, which offers Group Food Effects to all in party. Stewpots are only made by a Stewpot Master, and are ideal for mid-level jobs (levels 25-50).
Most Soups do not stack and give either 30, 60, 180, or 240 minutes. Soups are ideal for long exp parties and missions; avoid using for Dynamis or Salvage.