Thanks to Fr Dean Atkins for this guest post.
“The children were absolutely buzzing with excitement, and that continued the next day when they were eager to talk about it,” said the Year 6 teacher at Tredegarville Primary School after our first event at the courtyard (ok, it was the car park, really!) of St German’s Church in Adamsdown on 27th January. The class had spent a whole “souped up” school day which, topped off by sharing their soup in a street food setting with other soup makers and over a hundred eager eaters, all of whom represented the rich diversity of our vibrant community.
The Day of the Soup is a celebration, a series of fair food events, working with individuals and groups from Adamsdown, Splott, and across Cardiff. The event is as simple and as lovely as soup itself! We invite people to make soup, and then they share it with others, street food style, but as you may expect, there’s far more bubbling under the surface!
We’re bringing people together through food, and celebrating the diverse cultures of our community. Wherever we’re from, our food travels with us and provides a lovely means through which we can share who we are and what we are! Through the events, we aim to to experience a taste of other cultures and other lives, so that we can enjoy a lovely simmering, bubbling mix of differences and growing together. As simple as soup.
We are also keen to use a variety of ingredients to celebrate sustainable and healthy ways of living. Our food is free, but it is also fair. Many of our soups will be made using local, organic ingredients sourced from Riverside Farmers Market. All will be vegetarian. Other soups will be made from food surplus stocks which may otherwise have gone unused and uneaten, and Fareshare Cymru are helping us with this aspect of cooking and eating! For the first event, they rescued several kilos of red and yellow peppers and tomatoes which Tredegarville School turned into two delicious soups. The ingredients of other soups will be provided solely by the group making it – as their free contribution to a local event of global proportions! One of our aims is to enable people to be able to see how simple it is to make soup – and to discover, in a relaxed and fun environment, the possibilities of cooking and eating in a healthy and sustainable way. Above all, we want people to enjoy the soup, to enjoy the event, to enjoy being together!
And what of the soup makers? We don’t just want to taste their soup – we want to know what’s in it and what’s bubbling behind it! We’ll be nudging them for the ingredients and their method of making, but we’re also asking them for the story behind the soup: why they chose to make that particular bowl, and what significance it has for them (personally or culturally). We encourage the makers of soup to engage with those who are eating it, so that conversation is nurtured, and food celebrated. We’ve already heard some lovely soup memories at our first event, and we’re hoping that more and more people will be eager to chat over a bowl (or two!) of local, global food. The Organic Centre Wales has part-funded our series of events, and they are working with Rosa Robinson from ‘Work with Meaning‘ to tease out these food memories, the soup stories and souped up conversations about food.
We’re involved with a number of organisations and groups including local churches, the Jewish Reform Synagogue, Oasis Cardiff and the Trinity Project (both of whom work with refugees and asylum seekers), local primary schools, Food Cardiff, Riverside Farmers Market, Organic Centre Wales, The Rural Regeneration Unit, Green City Events, and others, all of whom are all involved or lending us their support. The list keeps growing!
The simmering, bubbling excitement experienced last week by the children of Tredegarville School continues and we’re keen to follow up our events with something as equally as exciting! Who’d have thought that soup could have generated such enthusiasm? But there really is more to these events than soup!
The Day of the Soup continues at St. German’s Church on Tuesday February 3rd and 10th from 3.30pm.
Father Dean Atkins
Follow The Day of the Soup on Twitter @thedayofthesoup
Images © Day of the Soup