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Blasta Books #5: Soup

By Blanca Valencia, Dee Laffan and Mei Chin

Everyone is passionately opinionated about their soups. We can argue through the night about blended soups, cold soups, greens in our soups, clear soups and, ultimately, why our favourite soup is the very best. The soups we make say we miss our moms, we want to travel, that the seasons are changing or that we are truly, deeply hungover. Soups define the stock from which we come and connect us all.

In Blasta Books #5: Soup, authors and Spice Bags podcast co-hosts Blanca Valencia, Dee Laffan and Mei Chin take you on a journey around the globe from the comfort of the communities within Ireland. The soups they have collected reflect individual cultures, memories and tastes, but they are also a reflection of Irish food today and the people behind it.

"Soup is a snapshot of who we are today, and what we eat today. It is a mezcla, where Ahmet Dede’s Turkish red lentil soup sits alongside Sasha Shyskina’s recipe for Ukrainian borsch. The book is both a manifesto, and a curriculum, because the authors show a continuum between Myrtle Allen’s watercress soup, and sopa de tortilla from the Dublin food truck El Milagro. We can describe their thesis as exploring both the Continuity of Change, and the Origin of Influence. They describe an Irish food world that is everything, everywhere, all at once, and they tell this story with subtlety and respect. Soup is a jewel, in a bowl." – John and Sally McKenna, McKennas' Guides