"He drinks the soup."
Translation:Él bebe la sopa.
The sense I get is that tomar can be "take" in the sense of taking medication--to take it in, consume it--whereas beber is specifically "drink". So you'd use tomar in situations where you generally want to indicate consuming something (yo tomo el jugo y el pollo) and beber if you want to be more specific about drinking something (yo bebo el jugo pero yo como el pollo). I'm sure there are also colloquial nuances that you can only pick up by hanging around native speakers.
You bring up an excellent point! This actually tends to be a point of debate among people (both Spanish and English speakers). Many say that it is definitely possible to "drink" ("beber" or "tomar" in Spanish) soup, depending on whether or not it's in a purely liquid state, in a bowl, in a mug, etc. So while "eating" soup is more common, it is also an alternative to "drink" it. In Spanish, you can also say "tomar la sopa" where "tomar" means either drink or eat so it's less of an issue to choose one or the other.
In a perfectly meaningless Google survey I just did, there were 95,000 references to "drink soup" and 636,000 references to "eat soup." In my case I drink the thinner liquids and eat what remains. However, it could depend if you drink it direct from the bowl or use a utensil like a spoon to eat it. But, if you insert a straw in your nose you can inhale soup. Anyhow, I am going with drink because we know ther are fewer intelligent people than stupid people and the 95,000 Google references to "drink" was the lower number.
First devised in the mid-1800s, “taking tea” began when the Duchess of Bedford invited friends to join her for an afternoon meal at Woburn Abbey in the English countryside. Featuring small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches and assorted sweets, the event was so popular the Duchess continued it when she returned to London. Other social hostesses soon adopted the practice, with afternoon tea ultimately spreading throughout the various colonies of the British Empire.
I think it's because there's too much chance of confusion with bebe. I asked a girl if she'd like a drink and I'm pretty sure she thought I was asking her if she'd like a baby. Too many people must have made this mistake in the past so they decided to change the standard to tomar for safety. :-)
You could definitely say "El bebe la sopa" here instead of "El toma la sopa" (pretend there are accents on El), but in any case the use of "a" is unnecessary, because it is only used for living objects (the so-called "personal a"). Thus, as soup is an inanimate object, no "a" is needed. As discussed elsewhere on this thread, "tomar" is more commonly used to mean "to drink" in modern cadence, but "beber" is also acceptable.