This French painter loved to construct still life scenes from everyday objects and normally these would be kitchenware with food. Fruit appears in many of his paintings but in this case he is a little more playful, delivering an assortment of vegetables which have been collected together for a health vegetable soup. That gives these items more of a relevance and connection to each other than in found in some of his other arrangements. He also chooses to stand slightly further back and allow more of the room into the painting, as we can see the outer edge of the table on the left. The small cloth also hangs down over the edge much further than in other interpretations from this period in his career.
A closer look at the original in its location in Indianapolis will reveal the ingredients of the soup to include cabbage, carrots, cucumbers and turnips - quite a hearty meal! In order to put this concoction together, there is also a copper pot, skimmer and glazed clay pitcher in order to serve up this delicious dish. In other examples of his still life paintings there are apples, peaches, pears and apricots, as well as bowls, glasses and cups. He created endless combinations over a number of decades and also stopped his work in this genre when his eyesight had deteriorated beyond repair. At that point he switched to pastel portraits, a new avenue for his creativity that lasted until his eventual passing.
This piece does not have the simplicity of later artworks when Chardin started to reduce the visual clutter and concentrate on fewer items. There is also not the vivid colours that his fruits often delivered, with seasonal vegetables in northern Europe tending to be somewhat blander in colour. Despite that, this still remains a worthy addition to his career oeuvre and is amongst the more famous pieces in it's owner's collection at the time of writing. It is also worth comparing this painting to other pieces from his career during the 1730s to see just how he was experimenting at this time.