It all started a hot, muddy, sunny day at a music festival years ago. Sitting outside a camper with some friends, I had the urge to eat some soup. I’m not sure why it happened, but that urge has led, over 7 years later to a radio show and eventually, to this: “Soup & Society”. See, when that urge hit, I realized that I hadn’t even thought about soup in over two years. I’d completely forgotten it existed. But since that day, I’ve never really stopped thinking about soup.
This event lead to an almost fanatical deep dive into the history of soup, looking up soup recipes, and researching different varieties of soup. I soon learned about the way that
human history is so intrinsically tied to the food that we eat and the interplay the two have with each other as time continues to march forward. Culture and history are alive in our food, and in no food more so than in soup. In the bottom of a bowl of soup there are the stories of peasants salvaging stale bread, cowboys crossing countries, or colonialism, depending on the soup du jour.
From this soup fanaticism, was born a short-lived college radio show named “Soup’s on With Brian” on St. Olaf College’s KSTO. From 3-4pm on Tuesday afternoons I took to the airwaves to talk about nothing but soup for an hour, often with the help of a rotating cast of guest co-hosts. “Soup’s On” gained a small but loyal following. When I brought up the topic of my radio show, many sounded interested, but few were free to listen at that time slot, and asked where they could listen to recordings of the episodes. Unfortunately, no recordings were made and “Soup’s On” was lost to history. The knowledge lived on solely in the memories of myself and my listeners.
Again, years passed. College turned to grad school, grad school to the post-grad life. It was looking like my days of writing anything even remotely creative ended when I submitted my last paper. I had considered retroactively recreating Soup’s On as a podcast, but wasn’t looking forward to talking into a microphone by myself about soup for hours on end. And I was fairly certain that unless people actually listened to the podcast, it sounded a lot like the type of scenario that would end up getting me committed. Part of the joy of “Soup’s On” was the audience interaction: the callers, the facebook page comments, the repartee with the co-hosts. A podcast would feel like a lonely shell.
Then the idea of a starting a website came to me. It seemed like a fitting medium to continue this journey. And so “Soup & Society” was born. Consider this “Soup’s On” grown up and written down; the written format with many advantages that radio lacked: time flexibility for the audience, the ability to link to recipes and articles, a comment section that’s open for more than an hour a week.
In the coming days, social media accounts will be created to better reach out to and interact with you, the reader. I’m excited to see how to best utilize this new platform in order to create an interesting and useful experience. I’m looking forward to see what “Soup & Society” will become, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.