I love it! It is National Soup Month. Speaking for myself, I love soup, especially during cold weather. First of all soup is so versatile. I couldn't begin to guess how many different soups there are for our pleasure. Soup warms you from the inside out on a cold day.
I had a neighbor years ago who refused to feed her family soup, canned or homemade, she thought soup was worthless. Can you imagine?? I actually felt sorry for her family.
Soup can actually be a family project. Read "Stone Soup" to your children. It is a wonderful story about the value of sharing. After you have read the story take the kids to the local market and have each member pick out something to put in your own version of Stone Soup (Nix on the chocolate bars, marshmallows, etc. They may need a little bit of supervision but not too much.) When you get home have each member of the family prepare their ingredient to go into the pot. You may want to start with some prepared stock or broth. Choose some tasty toppers: shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, sliced scallions, a dollop of sour cream, use your imagination. Serve it with: crackers, hard rolls, bread sticks, tortillas or sandwiches if you wish.
If this doesn't appeal to you try this Stone Soup Recipe from the Food Network.
Have a soup party to celebrate National Soup Month! Invite your friends for a soup potluck. Have each guest or family bring a crockpot of their favorite soup. Ask them the bring a few copies of the recipe for those who might want to make it themselves. You can provide the toppers and go alongs. Provide bowls and mugs (plenty of spoons too) so everyone can try them all. Ask the guests to bring a can of food or non perishable food item to be donated to the local food pantry.
A soup party would be a good fund raising event for your church congregation to help the homeless or other helpful organizations. Maybe your church could start a food pantry. My church did this a few years ago, starting in a shed behind the church, and is now serving over 2,000 people from a building they purchased from donations.
Talk to your children about the Great Depression. Find pictures and information online or at the library to show the kids what it was like. Explain that there are soup kitchens even today. If you have a soup kitchen or food pantry in your town see if there is some way your family can be of help. Helping at a food pantry or soup kitchen is a wonderful learning experience for children. If there are no opportunities to help serve maybe you can make a food donation.
Craft idea: Have each child cut a round bowl from construction paper. Now cut brightly colored vegetables and glue them in the bowl.
Donation tips: When your local supermarket advertises BOGO sales use the opportunity to give the free one to a local soup kitchen or food pantry. When a sale requires that you buy more than you can use, give the excess to a local charity. When you find a good buy on toilet articles, etc. buy extra to give to local missions or places that care for battered women and children. You can use coupons for the same kind of giving. We have strayed from National Soup Month but God will forgive me for that and I hope you will too.
2010 (c) Sharon A. Soffe