Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time

By Martha Bayne

A cookbook exploring the social role of soup through a collection of delicious, affordable recipes by food activists and chefs. “Stunning to read or just stare at for hours.”—The Chicagoist

This quirky exploration of the cultural history of soup as a tool for building community and fostering social justice is the result of a brainstorm: eating your way through a pot of soup day after day alone can get boring—so why not get together and swap some with friends? Now, neighbors in cities across the country are getting together regularly for home-based "soup swaps," changing the communities they live in along the way. 

In Chicago, for example, the arts collective InCUBATE uses soup as a microfunding tool. And of course, the radical volunteers of Food Not Bombs have been providing free vegetarian soup to the hungry as a protest against war and social injustice since 1980. These are just a few examples of the stories editor Martha Bayne weaves through her assortment of delicious, accessible, and tested soup recipes.

For home chefs who have a love for community and a sense that food is about so much more than taste, this will be a welcome addition to any cookbook collection. 

Martha Bayne is the founder of Soup & Bread, and a senior editor with Belt Publishing. 

More praise for the Soup & Bread Cookbook:

“Beautifully written, generous and honest, the book looks at community building through lenses as various and diverse as the country has to offer. Bayne finds people of many kinds – immigrants, nuns, urban farmers, artists and activists – each using soup to bring people together and knit up what has become unraveled.” Tikkun

“The perfect gift for anyone who’s trying to survive a Chicago winter … the book contains almost 100 recipes that are designed to bring people together, feed the soul, and, yep, fill your belly.” —PopSugar

“[Soup & Bread] has grown to a weekly event feeding hundreds of people and raising thousands of dollars to fight hunger…In her new book, Bayne shares the recipes that have warmed those many souls.” Chicago Tribune

“Martha Bayne’s new book is a reflection on the cultural importance of soup as much as a cookbook…The book reflects the almost palpable enthusiasm for soup that can be felt at the [Soup & Bread] events.” Chicago Reader

"Soup & Bread has been a Chicago institution since it took over wintery Wednesday nights at The Hideout...Now, the event’s organizer Martha Bayne has commemorated the event’s success with the new Soup & Bread Cookbook, a guide to some of the night’s biggest culinary successes. Featuring contributions from Stephanie Izard, “Hot” Doug Sohn, and Paul Kahan, the book brings together a charming array of soup facts, recipes, and images that make readers just long for cold nights with a bowl of something starchy and pureed."The A.V. Club

"Stunning to read or just stare at for hours." —Chuck Sudo, The Chicagoist

“One of the most thought-provoking (and appetizing!) books I’ve picked up in a long time.” — Baltimore Examiner

"Recommended. We love the story and idea behind the book and its lovely design, but most importantly, it’s full of delicious-sounding recipes that are clear and easy to follow."Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn

"A significant document on the importance of food and community...It’s a book of genuine people from all angles of life sharing food and recipes with each other in an effort to help more others yet." —Food on the Dole