When author of “Soup and Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time”, Martha Bayne, asked Knox Gardner “what he got out of being the soup swap mastermind”, he replied “I get soup in my freezer, that’s about it”. There is something sweet in that response, a simple acknowledgement without the frills.
There is a long history of soup giving but National Soup Day, as we know it, was founded by Knox Gardner, the editor in chief of @entreriosbooks , author, poet, activist. Both Martha Bayne’s cookbook and Knox Gardner’s blog speak to the community building aspect of soup swaps. And while the benefit is, of course, soup, both allude to the equally important elements of relationship building, fostering, nurturing.
Soup Swaps are meant to include several participants—friends, family, neighbors. Everyone shows up with several containers of soup for the other participants to take home and shares the story of their soup. We had to do a scaled down version this year, but hope to participate more fully in years to come!
I love the idea of sharing food and community in this way and having assigned calendar days to remind us to do it. It’s easy to feel disconnected from each other, to feel isolated, to just forget how important it is, for each of us, that we remain together. And while our contributions to each other should exist throughout the year, it’s nice to have a day set asides to just make someone else some soup. 🥣