Sharon Hapton Founder Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers

‘I’ve always been a soup maker. That’s how I take care of family and friends.’

What does your group do?

We make soup for the Calgary Emergency Women’s Shelter and The Doorway a program for street youth on a monthly basis.

What kind of soups do you make?

All of our soup recipes are taken from our website. People contribute to our website by writing in their favourite recipes. The most favourite soup of the shelter is a hamburger soup and we make it almost every month. The kids there wish they could have it for breakfast lunch and dinner. It’s very nourishing which is part of our mandate and filling.

How much do you make?

Every time we get together we make 200 to 250 soup servings. This week we made five different soups. Soup Sisters make it at the Cookbook Co. Cooks and Broth Bothers an extension of our family makes soup at SAIT for The Doorway.

Who volunteers?

People book into the soup-making as a group. They come to the website look for an available date. It might be a book club a corporation. This week we had a law firm. We get bridge clubs — every kind of group imaginable — family nights couples nights.

What made you think of doing this?

It just sort of occurred to me one day. I’ve always been a soup maker. That’s how I take care of family and friends. Just one day it hit me that it could be bigger and we could give soup to a lot of people whom it would make a big difference to. And it has really made some nice changes. It’s a strong voice when people come together.

When did you start doing this?

Almost a year ago in March 2009.

Where do you get the food from?

There’s a registration fee of $45 per person which covers all of the ingredients the facility a couple of glasses of wine and a light meal at the end of the night. And then the Cookbook Co. and SAIT they provide all the fresh ingredients. So really all you have to do is sign up and we break into cooking groups and get chopping.

So it’s a fun atmosphere?

Beyond fun. I think every group that has come to one of these things is thrilled about what a good time they had. There’s so much to be said for kitchen camaraderie. At the end of it they are always so overwhelmed when the soup comes out of the pots and is ladled into the bowls. It’s an amazing thing to see just the sheer amount of soup.

What’s your favourite soup?

I think the mushroom bean and barley. It’s one that I’ve been making for years and one that we often make as well. It’s really wholesome and nourishing.