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#OccupyWallStreet from your kitchen

Soup Bike

Make soup, deliver soup, share soup. DIY soup. Revolutionary soup. Image: Rantipole via Flickr.

I’ve received a number of queries from young moms and others who want to know what they can do to support the #OccupyWallStreet movement even though for logistical reasons — particularly having little kids —they can’t get to New York, D.C. or even a local event.

The rising tide of sympathy for good old fashioned, red, white and blue American protest is a refreshing addition to our national conversation.

It’s great to know how many people back the protests, how many more are finding ways to actually physically be in one location or another to lend their voice to the chorus, and how many will do what they can from the sidelines.

Clearly being there isn’t possible for everyone, but there are very practical ways to help the cause from the comforts of home. The low hanging fruit first. You can:

Eat the revolution

But if you really want to kick up your game, try what I’m calling Revolutionary Soup. This name is partially in homage to a favorite local soup shop of mine, and partially a big wet kiss for my favorite food—soup.

Why “Revolutionary Soup?”

Because one way to hit back at how from Wall Street to Washington concerns about industrial food production, GMO foods, environmental degradation and bad energy policies are ignored is to exercise a buying boycott. Obviously we can’t boycott everything, and we have to eat and feed our families. But we can put an end to any unnecessary purchases, and move away from the industrial economy as much as possible, replacing it with the domestic economy. You might even turn such a stance into a new job.

This revolution is DIY

Leveraging money in the domestic economy means forgoing pre-packaged convenience foods in favor of DIY food options. That means more raw ingredients and more creativity. Nothing from freezers for sure, except maybe plain frozen vegetables and fruits. But no pizzas, no “meals” no snack foods, no desserts. As for boxed foods, ask yourself if you can get it in bulk, first? Staples of rice, grains, beans, granola, dried fruit, nuts, and some basic snacks are available in bulk, and that’s what you need for “revolutionary soup.”

And of course, if you can get your meat, eggs, dairy and produce from local sources, always do so first. If you buy fewer pre-packaged industrial foods, and cook more, all the local stuff becomes a lot more affordable. And the more you buy it, the more that sector will grow, and prices will come down.

As to jars and cans…well, they are helpful for storage and in emergency, and can help with basic DIY cooking. If you can do it first from produce, and have the time to make tomato sauce, smash fruit for quick jam, or to make pies, do so. If you need a few items pre-made, choose generic or small scale Indie and organic brands every time to lob a hit at the major industrial factory food infrastructure.

Believe me, profit losses can say as much or more to the ruling class than a day spent occupying Wall Street. But you have to hunker down for the long haul if you want results.

The peasant’s pledge

In the end, taking a kind of “peasant’s pledge” to eat DIY foods, most clearly symbolized as “Revolutionary Soup,” means making a daily bean, vegan, vegetarian or meat soup and serving it up with simple sides of bread, butter, and perhaps a slice of cheese.

Hearty, full of more than enough calories and fat to sustain you, and tasty to boot, Revolutionary Soup is your way to support the #OccupyWallStreet movement with everything you cook. You just need:

  • Raw ingredients.
  • A stovetop.
  • A commitment of imagination and time.

If you’re really motivated (or able) you could take a vat of the stuff to your local protest. Here’s one of my favorites recipes to get you started, which is so easy that my 14 year-old routinely makes it for us:

Potato Leek Soup

3 leeks
4 potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup butter*
1/2 cup milk*
1/2 cup light cream*
1 qt. water, vegetable or chicken stock**
1/4 teaspoon fresh chopped chervil***
2 tbsp. each chopped celery and shallots
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
parsley, to garnish
croutons (optional)

To prepare

Peel and quarter the potatoes.

Prepare the leeks by removing the green portions, reserving for another use if desired. Cut down the center lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Chop the white portions finely. Sauté until softened with the shallots in half the butter for 5-7 minutes.
Add 1 quart of water or chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, celery, the quartered potatoes, and simmer 20-25 minutes.
Remove potatoes and leeks to a small bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes to a puree. Return the puree to the cooking water.
Stir in the milk, cream, and remaining butter. Heat until heated through (about 2 minutes).

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and croutons.

*I made a version that was vegan once substituting Smart Balance for the butter, and soy milk & soy creams for the milk, though rice or oat milk might work depending on how it affected the flavor.
**You can use vegetable stock instead. Just water tastes a little….watery.
***I couldn’t find chervil in any local stores, even dried. I’m assuming it’s fine w/out since I’ve never made it with.

An army of cooks

I hope you’ll get on board with Revolutionary Soup-making and add the voice of your wallet to the voice of your Facebook posts and your chatter with friends. It’s our world, after all, and our country. If we want to “take it back” from Wall Street and corrupt politicians we have to have a few practical tools, and the will to follow through. Happy eating!

–Lindsay Curren, Lindsay’s List

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