Austin has great traditions with soup.
There’s The Soup Peddler, who really did get his start cycling around to his clients, dropping off amazingly fresh and tasty soups. It’s now a much bigger business with a greatly expanded menus, but don’t we all still love coming home on our delivery day to soup (and quiche) on our doorstep? Oh, yes, we do!
There’s the Austin Empty Bowl Project that cleverly combines art, food, and service into one glorious day. Local potters (including some local and not-so-local celebs) donate a bowl that they have made to the project. Then the public is invited to make a donation to the Capital Area Food Bank, fill the bowl with soup made by local chefs, and take their empty bowl home at the end of the event. The bowl is a reminder of those whose bowls are empty every day.
Today I participated in a great new (to me) Austin tradition: a soup swap. Hosted by a client of mine (hooray for eating healthy!), fifteen people each brought between 6 and 10 quarts of soup, divvied up into 1 quart containers. I brought both chunky minestrone and chicken noodle, and I left with a great variety: thai coconut, chicken corn chowder, turkey vegetable, veggie chili, cream of tomato, and ginger butternut.
With fantastic organization, the swap went off amazingly well. More importantly, the group of swappers was friendly and eager to try something new. There were just enough people to have a good variety, but not so many people that the swapping seemed endless. My kudos to the hostess for her fabulous organization– and perfect soup swap weather.
What a great way to encourage healthy eating, mingle with friends, and make your life a little easier. A souper idea, indeed!