Photo: How to start a soup club

Improve your work life. Eat soup. (Credit: Molossoidea via Flickr)

Last week I re-launched soup club at the David Suzuki Foundation Vancouver office.

Can a pot of delicious Ukrainian borsht with beets and potatoes from my Grandma's garden save the planet? Not on its own. But here's what it can do (use these tips to help with your office pitch):

Benefits of membership

  1. Free lunch! If 10 people join, that's nine, no-cost, healthy, home-cooked lunches for each club member. Think of the coin you'll save.
  2. Everyone is welcome. You'll actually get a chance to chat with staffers on the other side of the office, maybe start a green conversation. (I learned that a new co-worker of mine speaks Ukrainian, too!)
  3. Boosted productivity. Take back the lunch break and don't eat at your desk. You'll return to work refreshed, refocused, re-energized and relaxed.
  4. Try new recipes. Cater to the dietary needs of members, e.g., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc. For the planet, emphasize local, seasonal ingredients, maybe from peoples' gardens.
  5. Less waste. No take out containers!

Still chicken?

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Soup club FAQs for the soul

Q: Will this take a lot of time to organize?

A: Doesn't have to. Make an announcement at your next staff meeting. Post a sign-up sheet in your kitchen or break room listing dates (ours is Wednesdays), with columns for the soup maker's name, the type of soup, and another volunteer to bring bread or crackers.

Q: How can I transport soup for 10 when I commute by bus/train/bike?

A: Freeze it, especially if you make it on the weekend when you have more time. Or buy a crock pot or stock pot for the office kitchen and cook on-site.

Q: What if people forget or cancel at the last minute?

A: Have each person join by signing up for a date to bring soup. (You don't eat if you don't commit!) Let people self-police, and find a substitute if they can't make it.

You'll be surprised at how good this soup club idea really is! (I didn't invent it). In the past we've even had members' husbands and mother-in-laws make soup for our club because it's such a cool idea and people are excited to share.

How does your workplace encourage eating that's healthy for employees and the planet?

Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

September 18, 2011

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Nov 05, 2015
7:07 AM

For folk who do not go to the office but meet with a group where the designated hostess provides “goodies”, this would be a great substitute for the calorie rich desserts that are served. Groups such as bridge club, knitting club, lace, quilter, book club to name but a few.

Sep 29, 2015
2:21 PM

I love your soup club idea. It’s really a win-win-win concept: you only have to cook about once in ten soups, you get a lot of great recipe ideas, it’s exciting to see what’s for lunch, you socialize more, they all appreciate your cooking, and it’s good for the planet. Not bad!

Jun 20, 2012
6:16 PM

How soup can help you lose weight — research has revealed a simple aid to taming the appetite is soup, it's dieting's best kept secret…blend your food into a healthy, voluminous soup. The best sort? Vegetable soup, as it produces a more consistent blend and is generally lower calorie.

Oct 05, 2011
4:58 AM

Hello — is the purpose that everyone gets to take a bowl of each of the soups home OR is it so that everyone can have a soup feast? If it's to take soup home, what kind of containers do you recommend for storage/transport?

Sep 24, 2011
9:44 PM

Heather, Wish I could say I followed a recipe. I used olive oil, onion, salt, vegetable broth, carrots, beets, potatoes a tomato. And because I hate to waste food I through in some red cabbage I had, and pizza sauce (for a tomato base) from supper the night before. You could also add beans for more protein and the trick is to sour the soup with vinegar. Like a tablespoon or two. I added fresh dill last and pepper, serving portions with a dollop of sour cream!

Enjoy, Lindsay

Sep 19, 2011
8:39 AM

Could you share the recipe for your Grandma's Borsht soup? It looks very YUMMY!

Thanks, h.

Sep 19, 2011
8:30 AM

Put me on your list for your newsletter.

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