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My Soup on the Balcony of Freedom

It is hard to talk about freedom when one's existence has been turned into a limited cycle of unprecedented events happening under strict rules of local and national governments. Yes, I am referring to 'intelligent lockdown' or 'recommended self-isolation' as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. All public events are cancelled, including STREET DINNERS or also known in the Netherlands as FREEDOM MEALS. Every year, on the 5th of May, the Netherlands celebrate their Victory over WW2 battle with fascism by organising public meals and trying to pull in as many people as possible into the activity. in 2020 we are isolated from each other, with a limited edition of a Tin of Soup, designed and created by the Rijksmuseum restaurant.

From all inclusive to limited edition, from public event to My Cup of Soup on My Balcony, made us to decide direction heritage and to reflect on the notion, so I asked some of SAMA team about their Soup Memories.

Louise - Mom's Cold Weather Soup

Eating soup is something we do a lot in my family, especially during cold weather. Nothing is better than savour a delicious soup near the chimney while watching a movie. My favourite one is one my mother is used to cook a lot. It is simple but very tasty. You only need zucchinis, a French cheese called «Vache qui rit», mushrooms, and cream; everything mixed together. Put some pepper and salt and the soup is ready to be eaten! Enjoy :) 

Freek - Not My Favourite

In my parents house there was always soup at the start of the dinner (we where with 8 persons at the table; often there were 10 or more because every friend was welcome). My mom made an enormous variety of soups: Tomatoes soup; Vegetables soup; Pea soup; Brown beans soup, Oxtail soup and exotic soups as well, which were made out of left overs. We never threw food away. A big pan on the coal-fired kitchen stove. She did this because of my father. It was his wish. A demand? My mother never ate soup. It wasn't my favourite either.

Anne - Grandmothers Leek Soup

I grew up in Belgium, where we always ate leek soup for which you need leek, potatoes, stock, carrots, thyme, bay leaves, milk. Funnily enough, on the photo it never looks good.

Yulia - Fish Soup

My grand grandmother's family was surviving throughout World War II cooking fish soups. They lived in Tambov, south-southeast of Moscow, on the Tsna and Studenets rivers. The family used a white fish from the river and vegetables from their own garden. Such clear fish soup is called 'Ukha' and is still very popular as a type of field kitchen. Today, it is made with fish broth, root vegetables, parsley root, leek, potato, bay leaf, dill, tarragon, and green parsley, and is spiced with black pepper, and fennel seed. I have heard that my family used pearl barley as an extra ingredient during the war if they had any.  

Anna - Skinny Borsch

Borsch is a typical Ukrainian soup, which in our family has 2 meanings - a post-war version, whereby a spoon can stand inside of the soup plate.  However, there is another version, a Skinny one. Grandma Anna, was a surgeon and a midwife during WW2, she raised her 2 sons alone whilst her husband was called to the front line.  Her version of the Borsch is a 'skinny' one owing to limited number of ingredients that were available at the time - potato, carrot, cabbage and most importantly beetroot. Beetroot is what makes Borsch, Borsch.

Vitoria - Sopa de Madioca

I was raised by my mother and grandparents, and I grew up in Brazil in a very privileged environment, but my grandmother, Aparecida, always told me about how difficult things were for her and her family when she was a kid. She grew up in a very simple house in a rural area, taking care of her 10 younger brothers, helping with the house holdings, working in the small plantation in the backward (where most of the food came from), and trying to find some time to study. Despite all the hard times she always talks with a lot of love about her mother, my grand grandmother Carolina, and all her efforts to keep the family healthy and together. It was from her mother that she learned most of her cooking skills, including her favourite dish, a cassava soup, that brings her back to her childhood and is tasty, fulfilling, and very cheap to make as you only need: cassava, onion, garlic, ‘bode’ pepper (similar to the Madame Jeanette you often find in Amsterdam), and parsley and chives to add in the end. Eating this soup at our house was always an exercise of revisiting the past and learning to value our food and our comfort.

Jules - El gazpacho

Every year since I was a little boy, I go on holiday to Spain. This country to which I am linked reminds me of a soup: Gazpacho. The ingredients are simple and remind me of this Mediterranean country very sunny. Gazpacho is eaten cold and is prepared with tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, peppers and a good dose of olive oil! A cold soup that comes from a warm country!

Dianne - Tropische Arubanse Flavour

Ik ben moeder van 5 kinderen, dus mijn verhaal is simpel:

  • 1 grote oranje pompoen

  • 2 mango’s

  • 2 uien

  • 2 teentjes knoflook

  • water

  • peper en zout

  • een paar piment korrels naar eigen smaak

Aimable Nsabimana - la Soupe de Champignon

La soupe est quelque chose que nous ne mangeons pas souvent dans ma famille et aussi dans mon pays alors que nous cultivons beaucoups de légumes. Quelque fois ma Mère préparait de la soupe de champignon mélangé avec de persil haché , oigon et du lait. Elle préparait souvent quand il faisait froid au moins de jamvier. On mangeait la soupe avant le repas du soir, c'était comme apéritif.

Bob - My Freedom Soup

1979 Spain, Franco was dead for 4 years and the Carlist holiday resort south of Toledo opened up for the first time. The father of my girlfriend had a Spanish friend who had a coffee and sugar distribution in the area and he invited us to joint him for a holiday in liberated Spain….There I ate Sopa di Ajo for the first time, Toledo style, with bacon, egg and cheese. My freedom soup………

And to remember the good old time, below is a re-cap of the 6 years during which SAMA had organised Street Events in the name of Remembrance and Heritage #4en5meiamsterdam.

2014 - Freedom of Open Spaces

2015 - On the Way to Milk and Honey: Freedom to be Here

2016 - I will Survive

2017 - New Time and Me

2018 - Capital Crisis - Mokum Meets Paris

2019 - Local Heroes


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