Chefs Turn Rescued Veggies into Soup for Cincinnati Schools, Homeless

Chefs Turn Rescued Veggies into Soup for Cincinnati Schools, Homeless

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La Soup screenshot Cincinnati Enquirer

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When grocery stores give you tons of cauliflower destined for the trash, you make soup to feed the hungry.

An Ohio chef was driven crazy by all the food waste she saw around her, while “Cincinnati has such a ridiculous amount of hunger.” So, she began simmering La Soupe.

One in four Ohio children are hungry on any given day, so DeYoung enlisted a small army of fellow chefs at Cincinnati’s leading restaurants to help battle that hunger.

Suzy DeYoung’s La Soupe project brings together grocery managers at Kroger stores –donating produce they can’t sell– with volunteer chefs who chop it up and serve it into nutritious carry-out soup for homeless and low income citizens.

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DeYoung calls on volunteers to help chop in her “Bucket Brigade.” Together, they created and deliver 1,600 pints of soup to the hungry every week.

The chefs quickly realized that the nature of seasonal vegetables could mean large donations of a single kind of produce at a time — one week lots of cauliflower, the next week it might be radishes. The best way to deal with that was to make soup or stews.

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DeYoung’s 60 or so volunteers gather about 4,000 pounds of food every month — food that otherwise would go to waste at the grocery stores.

They also deliver the homemade soup to five schools around the city every Friday and to another five or six feeding centers throughout the week.

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Volunteer chef Todd Kelly says the trick is turning sometimes odd or unusual vegetables into something kids will eat. That can be hard if the bulk of the ingredients turn out to be artichokes and cardoons — a high-fiber thistle — which were the majority of La Soupe’s ingredients one week.

The talent of 19 professional chefs goes a long way in letting La Soupe turn what would be trash into delicious and nutritious meals.

“It’s not going to solve world hunger,” Kelly told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “but it’s definitely going to help do a dent.”

(WATCH the video below from the Cincinnati Enquirer) — Photo via News Video

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