Something So Special for Your Neighborhood: Soup and a Story

Last night, I hosted a few neighbors for a Monday night “Soup and Stories” evening. After years of wondering what I should do next–after Monday Night Neighborhood Fitness and the Walk-to-School campaign ended– I prayed and prayed about how to connect with friends on a regular basis to share our lives.

My fellow Italian Mama encouraged me (and of course agreed to come) to the first Monday Night Soup and Stories night.

The concept: I make a huge pot of soup. I slice warm bread. Some neighbors pop in for an hour to eat soup and share a story about their day.

That’s it. Soup and stories.

I felt like I did in graduate school when we had a Thursday night “Soup Night.” The poets and musicians came; the med students came; the random new friends came. We ate soup. We told stories.

We enjoyed fellowship. 

Fellowship! What a beautiful thing!

Motivated by many things (David Brooks’ The Power of a Dinner Table; Sally Clarkson’s The Lifegiving Table: Nurturing Faith Through Feasting, One Meal at a Time; and the Harvard research report on the epidemic of loneliness as a public health issue), I simply, finally, took the first step.

(PS: If you’re a neighbor reading this wishing for an invitation, don’t worry, I hope to invite you soon!)

So far, I made a Tuscan White Bean Soup with Escarole last night, and next week, it’s going to be a Creamy Corn and Potato Chowder.

My husband set the table. Since I wasn’t sure how my first soup would turn out, we served salad at the last minute!

I share my Soup and Stories idea with my students. I think about the loneliness they feel, too. When I tell them, their eyes shine. They love this. They want this, too.

I hope you do as well. Perhaps you’ll start your own Soup and Stories night to connect with neighbors for an hour on a Monday night.


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