Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Soup Sisters: Comfort in More Ways Than One

Soup Sisters: Comfort in More Ways Than One

I love soup!

It is my favourite comfort food, also the best way to get me to eat my veggies. I would eat it every day during the winter and it is the one (and only!) thing I can be consistently relied upon to cook.

So when I learned of a way to use my love of soup to help others, for a cause I feel strongly about, I was instantly interested. Enter Soup Sisters (and Broth Brothers).

Soups Sisters and Broth Brothers are charities, founded in Calgary, AB in 2009, by Sharon Hapton. Interestingly, the idea was born as she approached her fiftieth birthday and was searching for a way to use her love of soup to help women in crisis. What a way to mix it up at Midlife!

Participants can join a soup-making session by booking for the date of their choice and paying a registration fee, which helps cover the costs of ingredients, supplies, venue and chef. Soup Sisters now has almost thirty chapters across Canada, and their events run year-round. These evenings are designed to be social as much as altruistic however, with participants enjoying a sit-down supper together once the soup is made.

Each session produces 150 – 200 servings of nourishing soup that are then donated to local women’s shelters or programs to help homeless youth.

I first heard of Soup Sisters last year, while still living in Halifax, and I had planned to join one of their soup-making sessions there. However house-selling and moving drove thoughts of almost everything else out of my mind in the short-term!

I thought of them again though, as Fall started. I was simultaneously casting around for a positive way to do something useful, in a world increasingly negative (or so it feels at times), whilst preparing my own soup at home.

Soup Sisters: Comfort in More Ways Than One

As a result, last Wednesday evening, Hubby and I found ourselves at the London Chef Cooking School in downtown Victoria chopping, sautéing and stirring up a storm! Our mission, a huge pot of Cheesy Broccoli soup.

Upon arriving we were offered a glass of wine – a great start to the evening! Then volunteers from Victoria Women’s Transition House gave us an introduction to their services and how the soup helps them to help women and children in need.

Participants were then divided up into groups of four or five, with each group making a different type of soup. Ingredients and utensils were provided at each of several workstations, but the preparation was all up to us.

Soup Sisters: Comfort in More Ways Than OneSoup Sisters: Comfort in More Ways Than One

The first half an hour or so was a whirlwind of activity, with everyone doing their part to ready the ingredients. We were helped in this by amazing Soup Sisters volunteers who read recipes, found extra utensils and cleared up after us as we made a mess. The kitchen heated up, and there were lots of rosy cheeks!

Then, as is the case with soup-making, it became a waiting game as our veggies simmered away in the huge stockpot – time to sip some more wine! The evening ended around a communal table where we enjoyed a serving of soup (especially made for us by one group) with salad and bread.

Soup Sisters: Comfort in More Ways Than One

This is a unique idea, and one that obviously resonates with people. It’s a great way to have fun and do something good at the same time! Even though we knew no-one else, we enjoyed the sense of community generated by all being there for the same reason.

Soup Sisters: Comfort in More Ways Than One

If you would like to find out more or are interested in taking part in a soup-making session, please visit their web-site at It’s a great site that details all the ways you can help – from donations to purchasing cookbooks (they are excellent, we bought both!), even perhaps starting your own local chapter! Check it out!


  1. This is such a wonderful idea; there is nothing like this where I live in upstate New York in an area of high unemployment. I've shared this on social media.

    1. Hi Alana,
      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks also for sharing this information on social media. It is a great organization, operating for a worthwhile cause. They have only recently expanded into the US, so watch for them in your area!