Winner of Time Out Chicago’s 2012 Eat Out Award for
Most Palatable Evangelism
“Soup and sociability for a worthy cause.” (New York Times)
“Chicago’s most laid-back, nutritious party.” (Grub Street Chicago)
“Kind of like the Iron Chef of soup.” (Centerstage Chicago)
“Hot, tasty philanthropy.” (Village Voice)
Soup & Bread is a free weekly soup dinner based at the Hideout, a bar and music venue in Chicago.
Each week we round up a handful of chefs, caterers, musicians, writers, artists, and home cooks of every persuasion to donate pots of homemade soup. Any soup. We serve them up to all comers — along with fresh bread donated by local bakeries and the occasional pie or cookies baked by enterprising participants — until the pots run dry or the late-night jazz guys kick us out. It was designed to be an easy, low-key way to get folks out of the house and socializing in the dead of a dark Chicago winter — not to mention, when we started this up in 2009 our friends were losing their jobs left and right. At times these past few years it’s seemed the entire city could use a nice hot bowl of soup.
Toward that end, while the meal is free, each night we set out a donations bucket, into which people are free to toss a dollar or two or ten to help get food to those who are truly in need. Through events at the Hideout and out of town in Madison, New York City, Seattle, and beyond we have raised more than $30,000 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository (the central food bank serving the Chicago region), the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Western Washington’s Food Lifeline, and a wide range of neighborhood food pantries, soup kitchens, and hunger relief agencies.
In November 2011 Agate Publishing released founder Martha Bayne’s Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time, a compilation of recipes from Soup & Bread paired with stories of the ways groups around the country use soup to both bring people together and reach out to others. There’s a whole lot more info on that here.
A portion of the proceeds from all sales of the Soup & Bread Cookbook, the Soupscription cards, and related Soup & Bread merchandise is donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Soup & Bread 2013 starts January 2 and runs Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, through mid-April. There’s never a cover charge, and kids are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Come on by and say hi!