I have never said nor have I ever hear an English speaker say, " I will make a soup." The fact that the article is used in Spanish should not mean that it should be used in an awkward English translation. The fact that I did not translate "una" does not mean that I did not recognize it. It only means that I recognize the difference between Spanish and English. If one were asked to translate " I will make soup" into Spanish, would it be correct both with and without the article?
In English we would say "I will make soup" or "I will make a soup" depending on the availability of the ingredients.
If we want soup, but do not yet have the ingredients, then we say "I will make soup" as a general expression of intent.
If we have a random selection of foods, but no specific recipe comes to mind, then we say "I will make a soup" as a way to use up the items.
I have no problem with the "a" in that sentence. If I am making "soup" in general, without emphasis on the kind of soup, then I am making soup, BUT if I am specifically making minestrone, or borscht, or clam chowder, or... then I am making A soup.
This is the way English works - an abstract or generalised concept (such as soup in general) drops the article whereas a concrete or specific concept (like a specific soup) always carries the article.
I don't agree. You wouldn't say "I'm making a chocolate ice cream," the correct form is "I'm making (some) chocolate ice cream." It has nothing to do with the soup or ice cream being concrete or specific; the rule that applies is whether the noun is countable (apples, books, etc.) or uncountable (soup milk, rice, etc.)
That's a very good question.
Usually Spanish uses the definite article when discussing abstract nouns. So when speaking of "soup" in general it will be "la sopa", e.g.
"Otros hacen ruido cuando toman la sopa" = "Others make noise when they eat soup" (note that although "tomar" = "to take", it becomes "to drink" or "to eat" when talking about beverages and food)
But there are some occasions where "sopa" can appear without any article, so "Él hará sopa" is acceptable (though "una sopa" is far more common).
It also appears in this Spanish expression...
"Para hacer sopa de liebre, primero necesitas tener la liebre"
Per the "A soup" comments:
I hesitate to step out on a limb but just have to add my two cents here because I feel like it may change a fixed opinion to a more open mind;
I believe it could be translated in either direction here. "A soup" is perfectly fine to say and hear, though to me it automatically would encourage one to think what kind of soup, if heard in the "A soup" way. If I were to hear someone say they were making soup I would not think anything about the variety of "soup." If someone said "A soup", then I would probably want to ask what kind of "A soup"? By adding the article "A" it would seem that you are setting that soup apart from "some soup" or just "soup" in general.
I think it is not just a matter of what sounds right but that, said either way, it translates into the same meaning. Why shouldn't both translations be accepted? They should, I mean, in my opinion.
Thank you to all!