When the call goes out from Street Angels for soup, I make soup.
I made twenty cups of soup this afternoon. I usually make forty. But I figured making forty takes away the privilege of making twenty from somebody else. Like why be greedy with the soup-making, right?
I make the same soup every time. Well, the first soup which was maybe a year ago was bean with sausage and that was a fine soup. But the beans required soaking and because then I was still stuck on forty cups, there had to be a lot of beans and a lot of soaking.
So, I found a recipe for beef barley soup with vegetables when I googled soup for forty. After making it a time or two, I swapped out the cubed chuck roast which was fantastically expensive for ground beef. I put everything into this soup – onions, garlic, green and red pepper, celery, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, corn, and cabbage. And barley, which is a fabulous ingredient because it’s so healthy plus it bulks up the soup and, believe me, the one thing you want when you’re making soup for people who are living outside in Wisconsin in March is a bulked-up soup.
I made this thick, savory soup and put it in wonderful cardboard soup containers which I like a lot because they’re biodegradable and then I put all twenty cups stacked into a double grocery bag and I drove down to where the Street Angels outreach crew is getting ready to go out to find people who are living outside – under bridges or in parks or God knows where.
I know they will talk to people when they hand them my soup. And in the talking they will find out what folks need and try to help them, and my soup might seem incidental to that process, but it isn’t actually because each person who gets one of my cups knows somebody made them some soup, even if they don’t know or care that it was me.