The Greater Vancouver Soup Collective* (GVSC) meets tonight for its fourth (or maybe fifth) installation. A few of us friends got together last winter and decided to meet semi-regularly for a socialist evening of soup and friendship. The idea was to make a large pot of soup, enough for tasting that evening and for others to take home and store in the fridge or freezer for another wintry night. The first meeting of the Saucy Socialist Soup Servers* (SSSS) was great fun and fantastically soupy. I'm supposed to be collecting the menus and recipes from each meeting to perhaps publish in a cookbook format, but I've been lapse in my duties - otherwise I could tell you what soups also attended that first meeting of the Soup Aficionados United Perfectly* (SAUP).

There are over- and undertones of community kitchens in this plan, and we all love the idea of collective cooking, sharing resources, and literally breaking bread together over good food. One of our members is a dietician and many of us are interested in local bounty and organics, so I guarantee that the food is, by all standards, good! We have a few restrictions: most of the members are ovo-lacto vegetarian so no meat soups, and one member can't eat carrots or mushrooms. One month she couldn't make it so my mom's carrot-coriander soup still made it into the list of soups we've shared. There have been a wide variety of soups including African peanut soup, hubbard squash soup, some kinda terrific down south gumbo soup, and many more. Tonight I've prepared a creamy asparagus soup that is served with a dollop of basil-almond pesto. The pesto has come out a bit salty but it might liven up the soup that right now just looks a bit muddy and boring. Another couple are preparing cherry beet borscht! I thought the green of the asparagus would be a nice contrast to what must obviously be a bright red/purple soup.

We try to mix it up in terms of who holds the soup night so the burden of hosting is also shared. There is always wine and sometimes beer; someone always brings a nice bread and usually there are some sauces, dips or spreads, even cheese once in a while to go with all the soup. Everyone keeps a small bowl and a spoon, rinsing between soups. Eventually we are all super stuffed and a bit tipsy and we all totter home with a couple different kinds of soup for future meal-in-a-minute dinners. I love these evenings with the Soup Lovers Unite, Riotously, Please* (SLURP).

Do you think a cookbook that lists recipes and has pictures of Soup Night* (SN) gatherings and little, dumb stories from the collective would sell? Can you think of a killer acronym for us?

*This name is subject to change on a whim or after the consumption of alcoholic beverages, preferably accompanying soup.

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