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Soup Brings People Together, and We Need More of That (A Soup Story)

It’s summer. And hot.  Very hot.  Everything smells like sunscreen and pool water.  There are playground rocks in every crevice of my furniture, and I’m pretty sure my son is made of sand.  My kids, 10 and 6 (their ages, not their names), have been playing in the sprinkler all morning, but every few minutes they tell me it’s “soooooo hot.”  They emphasize their complaints with slouched shoulders, anti-gravity neck, and dragging feet. It’s like they’re heat-activated zombies.

It is hot, so I don’t begrudge them their misery.  I’ve always loved summer, though. It’s warm, bright, and my garden is just about ready to harvest.  I’ve invited some friends over, so I ordered a few quarts of Spoons soups for lunch.

And, boy-oh-boy, did that decision cause a production this morning.  I’m still smiling at my daughter’s expression when she came downstairs and heard me on the phone with Spoons. She was expressly concerned about her mother’s mental state.

When I got off the phone, her look of horror was followed by “Why are you getting hot soup?  It’s supposed to be, like, 100 degrees today.”
I told her, “Go wake your brother, and I’ll explain.”  She backed away slowly, as if turning her back was too dangerous.
My son came downstairs, rubbing his eyes and looking mighty grumpy.

“Ok,” I told them.  I poured them each a glass of milk.  “Sit, and I’ll tell you why we’re having hot soup on a hot day.”

They both sat slowly, not taking their eyes off me.  It was like they didn’t want to make any sudden moves. “Soup has been used for a long time in almost every culture around the world during all times of the year.  Many people eat soup to help them digest their meal. They don’t feel so full after eating because the soup temperature and ingredients help break all that stuff down.”  They visibly relaxed.

I smiled. “I know you think you crave colder things in summer, like ice cream and Slushees, but that’s not really what we should be doing when we’re hot.”

They looked at each other questioningly, so I gave them a second to wonder. “What should we be doing?” my daughter asked skeptically, giving me a sidelong look.

“Well, when you’re hot, your body temperature is higher, so you shock it when you give it something cold.  You have these messengers in your body that tell your brain what’s going on. Your brain then tells the rest of your body what to do.  When you shock it with cold, the brain tells the body “WARM UP!  IT’S FREEZING!’”  Their laughter rang when I yelled it in what they’ve deemed my ‘silly voice.’ They looked comforted by the humor.

“When you’re hot,” I continued, “and you give your body something hot to eat, then those messengers tell your brain it’s hot, and your brain tells your body to cool down.  Eating hot food – especially in dry weather like Colorado’s – tells your body not to store so much heat and to sweat it out. When your sweat dries up, the heat is absorbed by the air, and you feel cooler.”

They sat quietly for a while after this ground-breaking information. I went about my day, and they gradually got to moving about theirs.

As I sit here in the backyard watching my kids jump through the sprinkler and waiting for our friends to show up, I wonder if they’ll remember the soup talk, or if I’ll have to tell them again when it’s time to eat.

I had no reason to worry, though.  When we went to pick up the soups at Spoons, my kids were thrilled to tell the staff what they learned about hot soup on hot days.

“Your brain yells at your body!” my son shouted excitedly.

“Yeah. Soup is, like, the best thing to not confuse the brain,” my daughter said knowingly.

“That’s pretty cool,” the store manager said smiling down at my kids. “Did you know all our soups are homemade recipes that are prepared and cooked daily?  We end up giving a lot of extra food to the food bank.”

My kids looked at each other.  “There’s a bank for food?” My daughter looked affronted. I smirked. Couldn’t help it.

The manager said, “Sort of. The food bank offers food to people in need.”

My son turned to me with big eyes, “Can we do that?”

The manager’s explanation and my son’s response sparked a conversation in the restaurant.  Complete strangers weighed in on the topic, and the staff smiled brightly as they answered questions fired at them from all sides.  Today, my kids received a valuable education not just about soup and the body, but about compassionate business ethics and group communication.

At that moment, I realized how valuable education can be, and how much food, especially soup, can bring people together in a family and a community.

 

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This is a fictional story loosely based on real customer reviews.  All information about Spoons is true and accurate.  If you enjoyed reading it, please share with your friends!  We’re always looking for ways to reach out to our community and provide entertaining education about food.  We hope you enjoy some soups this summer, and we’re honored to be a part of your story.

 

Sources for this article:
Smithsonian
Special Broadcasting Service
Blue Apron Blog

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