Thursday, August 18, 2022
Aug. 18, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Press Talk: Who wants the best soup ever?

By , Columbian Editor

I tried everything last year. I really did!

I pulled out my grandmother’s favorite recipe, I got in the face of my opponents. I even sang a little “Born to be Wild.” But nothing worked.

My appearance at the annual Share Soup’s On event fell flat.

Now, that’s not to be confused with the actual Share event. It was a huge success. Share, as many of you know, serves the hungry and the homeless. And as those less-fortunate-than-us numbers continue to grow, Share increases its involvement in trying to make things better. And — apparently not knowing when to quit — I’m back again this year.

How did I get involved?

OK, I’m not an official professional chef, but I often play one on my Facebook page. And a couple of years ago, I went to the event as a guest.

After I wrote about attending and how it reminded me of my grandmother’s favorite soup, Kim Hash, director of development and communications for Share, asked me if I’d like to participate.

I try to do my small part of getting involved in the community. Folks at The Columbian know our main role is to put out the best newspaper we can. But many of us try to do more.

So I’ve danced in Dancing With The Local Stars, I’ve volunteered to help Beaches Green Eggs & Ham, I’ve sung in a choir during the holidays at assisted living homes and I’ve been dunked for Give More 24!

The Soup’s On event is an extension of that.

After I found out how much work it took last year to cook for 700 of your closest friends, I was certain I was one-and-done.

But Kim asked if I was willing to cook again. So — despite last year’s outcome — here I am.

Truth is, the Soup’s On event has never been about winning the prize for the best soup. It is, first, a fundraiser for Share and second, an opportunity for us to experience eating soup as a main course. That’s something the homeless have often done.

Soup kitchen history

In an earlier column, I mentioned the history of soup kitchens. Al Capone has been credited for creating one of the first soup kitchens during the Great Depression. Back then, a donated meal was all some families had to eat. And unlike today, there weren’t many governmental programs that were assisting those who needed help. So Capone — certainly in an attempt to prop up his bad behavior persona — began serving meals to struggling Chicago-area families. They were often soup, because soup was cheap.

Churches — and later the government — recognized the need and stepped in.

A real need

Make no mistake, there’s a real need for helping. We often worry about our next pay raise. But too many worry about their next meal. So that’s where Share — and other organizations — step in.

The Soup’s On event

I’m told there still are some tickets available. It’s Oct. 9 — a week from this Sunday — beginning at 4 p.m. at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. For more information, go to

My soup

At the upcoming Soup’s On event, I’m bringing back to the table my grandmother’s Uovo goccia marinara zuppa. It’s an Italian egg drop marinara soup. It’s my “go-to” meal. It is — in my humble opinion — as good as it gets. But obviously not every one agreed last year.

So I need help. Brother — if you’re going to the event — can you spare a vote? Let’s rig this thing! I get that winning is not the goal, but I’m pretty sure (dramatic pause required here) I can make soup great again! And if I don’t win this time?

Well, my paisan Mr. Capone used to have a saying:

Dormire con i pesci.

Columbian Editor

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo