There’s no denying that food nutritionist Amy Desborough can make a mean bowl of soup.
This, after all, is the woman who helps hundreds of people devise tailor-made health journeys based around the foods they eat and the changes they may need to make to their lifestyles to improve their personal health and general wellbeing.
Earlier this winter Amy, together with her husband Andrew, decided to extend this concept via the ‘Souper Saturdays’ which they launched in their hometown of Neyland in conjunction with Alan Chadwick, the vicar of St Clements Church.
A bowl of delicious, homemade soup was provided, free of charge, to anyone wishing to attend the lunches at St Clements Church Hall, and three months on, Souper Saturdays has become a much-loved part of Neyland’s community.
“I’d been helping out at the Green Shed in Merlins Bridge and began realising just how important the soup kitchen was as a social community event,” explains Amy.
“It was a great way to bring people together, and so Andrew and I had a chat with Alan Chadwick, and he gave us the go-ahead to set up Souper Saturdays under the Warms Spaces initiative’.”
The first Souper Saturday took place on December 3.
“Like so many things, it took a little time for word to get around. But around 15 people attended the first Souper Saturday, they told their friends, a few of those friends came along and over the last few months, it’s grown steadily, week by week.”
Last week, no fewer than 48 people attended.
The soups are all homemade by Amy and her pool of helpers, with varieties including pea and ham, lentil and a delicious pearl barley.
“What makes our Souper Saturdays so special is the fact that it’s not just about having a bowl of homemade soup, but it’s also the ability to share time with other people in the town who you may not see on a regular basis. And quite a few new friends have been made as a result, which is even more special.”
Now, thanks to Souper Saturday’s enormous success, Amy plans to continue the initiative throughout the summer. But instead of being held on a weekly basis, the lunches will take once a month.
The first one will take place on May 7 in celebration of the King’s Coronation, while barbecues, garden parties and afternoon teas will take place throughout the summer.
If anyone would like further information on the events or would like to help out as a volunteer, they can contact Amy on [email protected]