Schell: Warming hearts—one bowl at a time

Kelowna group organizing to deliver homemade soup to women's shelters.

Sharon Hapton

Last week I received an email about some amazing ladies making soup for women’s shelters across the country. I was so moved by the photo of these lovely, apron-clad women, passionately armed with veggies and ladles that I instantly wanted to be a part of this sisterhood.

One week later, I am thrilled to announce that Kelowna will be launching Canada’s newest chapter of Soup Sisters.

Founded in March 2009 by Calgarian Sharon Hapton, Soup Sisters is a non-profit organization that helps coordinate groups of caring women to get together to prepare and deliver homemade soup to women’s shelters in their community.

Soup making has always been Sharon’s way to nurture her friends and family who were down. She realized long ago that the act of delivering a bowl of soup had the power to change their day.

“Throughout the ages, women have expressed their caring and support for others through the making of soup,” Sharon says. “We have created Soup Sisters to embrace that tradition and provide the framework to channel your nurturing spirit into making delicious soups that will provide comfort and wholesome nourishment to women and children in crisis.”

With Soup Sisters kitchens now brewing up goodness across the country, Sharon is “excited to grow into Kelowna to support (our) women and children that have been effected by domestic abuse.”

Sharon has partnered with the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, and Laura Banman, who has been working with the shelter for 30 years, is bubbling over.

“This is very exciting,” Banman said. “It is amazing to receive an expression of support that is so generous.”

She says this is “a direct outpouring of caring” and it is wonderful for “the women and children to know that a group from their community is supporting them this way, and to this extent.”

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter can manage 20 to 22 women and children at a time and provides both counseling and support services as well as residential facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week for women and children who are impacted by domestic abuse. 250-763-1040

Our local chapter of Soup Sisters has partnered with wonderful chef Neil Schroeter of Okanagan Street Food who will facilitate the events at his restaurant and lead the soup making bees. Thank you Neil.

How it works: Groups of 20 will be booked into the once per month soup making parties at Okanagan Street Food for $50 per person. The event begins with a soup training session from chef, followed by a lovely meal (with wine) and ends with a heap of labeled containers of soup ready to be delivered to the shelter.

Talk about a feel good party.

For more information, to get involved or to book your group of 12 to 20, go to or email us at

Stay tuned for information for our launch party in March.

The opportunity to help create a bowl of soup to help soothe another woman’s heart or nurture a confused child is truly a gift. I am so thrilled to be the coordinator of the new Kelowna Soup Sisters chapter and to become an extension of Sharon’s beautiful big heart and long, giving ladle. Soup is like a hug in a bowl.

My thanks to Kalayra Angelyys for stirring the pot and getting our local chapter simmering.

Have a souper day.

Foodie alert:

As many of my readers know, I am in love with Klaus, my Thermomix (who incidentally makes fabulous soup). Want to see what they can do? Join Kalayra, (my Soup Sister) and Thermomix sales rep for a Cooking Demo on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6p.m. at The Wedding Café, 2655 Pandosy St. Maximum space is 10. RSVP to or 250-868-9421.

No charge for this event. And come hungry.

Jennifer Schell is editor of B.C. Wine Trails Magazine.

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