This painting shows a woman and a boy sitting at a dining table that is set for a meal. The woman, on the right side of the composition, is shown in a profile view and is using a ladle to pour soup into a bowl. The boy, seated in a ladder back chair, is holding a spoon with his hands resting on the table. He is gazing at the soup bowl. Both figures have somber, quiet facial expressions. A table lamp, seen only partially on the far left of the painting, is the single source of light. So, the figures and the table top are brightly lit, but the rest of the setting is very dark. Items on the table such as the plate with melon, the milk bottle, the salt and pepper shakers and the tablecloth, are shown in realistic detail, much like a still- life painting.
John Koch is well known for his scenes of richly furnished New York city homes depicted in a style of realism often compared to the master painter, Vermeer. In this painting, however, the subject matter is unknown. We see a simple meal of soup, bread and fruit shared quietly by a woman and a boy. Koch uses the light from the lamp to highlight their faces, but also to create a warm glow that encompasses this peaceful scene. The table items are painted in a manner reminiscent of a Dutch still-life painting, expecially the folds of the tablecloth and the reflection on the milk bottle.