Soup and Bread

Soup & Bread 2018: Ten years in the soup

soup room

The tenth season of Soup & Bread kicks off at the Hideout on January 3. Ten years! Can you believe it? We can’t.

In those ten years we’ve staged Soup & Bread dinners from Brooklyn to Seattle, and seen spinoffs pop up as close to home as Ottowa, Illinois, and as far afield as Oslo, Norway. We’ve published two cookbooks, met hundreds of talented, generous cooks, tasted innumerable recipes, and … and … I could go on. I was planning to write a long post recapping the highlights of the past decade. But who wants to dwell on the past? The most important part to remember is that thanks to all these folks, and thanks to you, we have raised more than $80,000 over these past ten years to help alleviate hunger here in Chicago and around the country.

When we started this up one snowy day in January of 2009, the recession had shaken our Chicago community. Facing an uncertain future, for many our livelihoods, homes, and hopes in precarious balance, we were hungry for soup and solidarity, and it seemed you all were too.

Ten years later, we’ve been through a lot together — but the uncertainty endures. For many, it’s gotten a lot worse, in just the past days and months. But we’re still here. And with your help we’re still planning to keep slinging soup, and doing what we can to keep the chill of the world at bay at least for a few hours a week.

So! Do you want to cook soup for Soup & Bread this year? Get in touch asap at We run every Wednesday from January 3 to March 28 at the Hideout, 1534 W. Wabansia in Chicago.

Got questions? See our FAQ.

And if you can’t come, but would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the cause, you can do that through our fiscal sponsors at the Social Good Fund. All contributions go to support the operating costs of Soup & Bread; whatever’s left over will go into the general fund and be distributed to local food pantries at the end of March.

Donate Now

This winter we’re hoping to visit all our siblings in the Soup & Bread family: we’re going to Oslo in January, to visit Christer Knudsen’s wildly successful Soup & Bread at that city’s Kulturhuset (here’s a lovely Norwegian Public Broadcasting piece on it, mostly in Norwegian, except for five minutes starting around 6:30, but you squint your ears can make out the word “hygge” in there). On February 28 we’re heading to Milwaukee for the fifth anniversary of that city’s annual Soup & Soul at the Sugar Maple. And we hope to make it to Cleveland, where Simona Mkrtschjan launched the Cleveland Soup & Bread Experiment last year, and to Traverse City, where expat Chicagoan Andrea Deibler is keeping the crocks warm, and to Ottawa — where longtime Soup & Bread cook Beth Osmund is running to represent Illinois’s 16th Congressional District in Washington. Go Beth!

We want support these efforts around the globe; to see what they’re up to, report their stories, and collect their recipes. Later this year, if time and funding provide, we hope to do another cookbook. Do you want us to come visit your Soup & Bread event? Get in touch so we can get it on our travel schedule.

OK this has already gone on longer than I planned, but I want to leave you with a memory from Soup & Bread supervolunteer Amanda Zwald, who’s been helping us out for three years now. She says, in part:

Back in January I was setting up the table and slicing bread when a man in a suit (a rarity at the Hideout) who had been sitting at the bar with a well dressed woman approached to ask what I was up to. They were waiting for a table at a nearby restaurant and had some time on their hands so I filled them in on how we chip away at food disparity in Chicago with yummy soup. He kept asking me who sponsors it, who gets paid, where are the ads? In disbelief that it is all volunteer, all donations of time and soup. As they were leaving he handed me a larger denomination bill and said “this is the best place I could put this, I wish we could stay.”

Week after week, for ten winters now; all volunteer, no ads. We just try to make it a little easier, a little cozier, to redistribute a little wealth. Won’t you help as well?

Here’s to a safe and happy December; we can’t wait to share a meal with you in the new year.

Soup & Bread


Posted: Sunday Dec 3,2017 02:26 PM In Event Schedule, Soup Wrapup, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply


Susbscribe to our awesome Blog Feed or Comments Feed