“Sometimes I’d see a tiny restaurant I liked the look of so I’d get off at the next stop and go inside, order soup.  I took a tour of world soups.  Avgolemono. Sambar. Menudo. Egusi with fufu. Ajiaco. Borscht. Leberknodel suppe. Gazpacho. Tom yam. Solyanka.
Nasselsoppa. Gumbo. Gamjaguk. Miso. Pho ga. Samgyetang. I kept a list in my diary, with the price of the soup next to each name. All were satisfyingly cheap and very filling.” – Louise Erdrich, The Sentence 

For the past few years, come fall I almost decide I’m not going to bother with Around the World in 40
Soups. It’s a lot of work. I’ve run out of ways to get customers to eat tripe. There are too many hard-
to-find ingredients in Misr Wot. And maybe people are getting sick of it (including my staff, who has
to find fufu and nassella and cook tripe).

But something always happens that makes me change my mind. 

Last year it was running into the daughter of one of our biggest soup fans, who had recently
passed—so we dedicated the year’s travels to him.

This year the something that happened was reading Louise Erdrich’s newest novel, The
Sentence. We sell the book at Modern General, and I had been meaning to read it but was in the
deep weeds all summer. Finally, I stayed up all night in a nest of pillows, reading. The Sentence is
about books, a lovable independent bookstore, and wrestling with our ghosts (which are sometimes

Tookie, the main character, is one of my favorite literary figures of all time. Partly for egocentric
reasons, yes. Tookie adores books, food, trees, and fluffy beds. Those are my most favorite things,

Tookie loves to eat, and she especially covets soups. After serving ten years of a jail sentence (for
body snatching and drug running; yeah, gotta read the book), Tookie is released. What does she
do? She takes a “tour of world soups.”

Which is why the theme for this year’s travels is Soups for Tookie. We’ve put all of the soups
mentioned in the book (well, except for the bull penis one) on our schedule. Some we have made in
past years, some are totally new—for instance, Leberknodel suppe. You can see our full soup
schedule below!

Pick up a passport at one of the Vinaigrettes and get it stamped every time you try a soup; there will
again be prizes that are no joke and supportive of other local businesses. ALSO, I highly
recommend reading The Sentence. It’s the perfect read for this strange period of reconciliation that
we are all in; it seems like we’ve all been wrestling with ghosts, as individuals and a society, lately.

But if you buy the book, honor one of its most important themes by purchasing it from a local,
independent bookstore—you can buy it from us or Collected Works in Santa Fe, Book People in
Austin, or buy it directly from Ms. Erdrich’s bookstore Birchbark Books, which is the setting for most
of the story but also has a great online store.

soups with stories

Soup Schedule

November 10 Thai Pumpkin Laksa

November 14 Avgolemono

November 17 Pollux’s Scorched Corn Soup

November 21 Turkey & Wild Rice 

November 25 Judy’s Curried Lentil Soup

November 28 Pho Ga

December 1 Hungarian Paloc

December 5 Tom Yam

December 8 Mulligatawny

December 12 Ukrainian Borscht

December 15 Cream of Mushroom

December 19 French Onion Soup

December 22 Posole

December 26 New England Clam Chowder

December 29 Pistou Soup

January 2 Solyanka

January 5 Samgyetang

January 9 Tomato Bisque

January 12 Green Chile Stew

January 16 Beef Barley

January 19 Sambar

January 23 Chinese Hot & Sour

January 26 Cioppino

January 30 Egusi with Fufu

February 2 Cuban Black Bean

February 6 Gamjaguk 

February 9 Grandma Dorothy’s South Dakota Chili

February 13 Italian Wedding Soup

February 16 Albondigas

February 20 Peanut Soup

February 23 Leberknodel Suppe

February 27 Moroccan Chickpea

March 2 White Bean & Ham

March 6 Manhattan Clam Chowder or Minestrone

March 9 Miso with Tofu

March 13 Ajiaco

March 16 Nasselsopa

March 20 Ashe E Reshte

March 23 Three Sisters Stew

March 27 TBD

pies and cakes for sale
soup with stories

Soups for Tookie click on the green soups to read about them and get the delicious recipe.