“The Attitude Is Gratitude”
Back in 1995, three friends–Summer, Magic, and Rich In Spirit–were sitting together on a hill at the New Mexico Gathering musing over their future contributions to Rainbow. Up until then they’d been what Rich terms “lazy hippies”–not working much but rather going around the gathering with packages of Ramen noodles and adding hot water to them. (They’re favorite place to do this was Tea Time, and according to Rich “you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted peppermint Ramen”!) After enough bowls of Ramen, they finally decided that they could do better than that–they could start their own kitchen and serve soup to everyone who came by. And so the idea for Instant Soup was born.
Since Summer and Magic owned a health food store, they offered to supply the soup if Rich In Spirit would come two weeks early every year and build the kitchen. Rich agreed and Instant Soup was born. Since that time, Summer and Magic have been searching out the healthiest soups they could find and generously donating them to the kitchen, even though they stopped coming about seven years ago (as of 2017). As long as Rich keeps coming and building the kitchen, the deal still stands: Instant Soup will keep serving soup.
Summer and Magic did have one other stipulation, however: the kitchen had to remain vegan. As a result, Instant Soup has remained one of the few fully vegan kitchens to last over 20 years. Of all the donations that come through the kitchen, any cheese or other non-vegan products get donated to other kitchens; even milk chocolate.
One of Instant Soup’s aims is to serve food 24/7, and much of the time they succeed in that. They also serve much more than soup. From salads and stir fries to chilis and french fries, you’re likely to find all sorts of tasty things being served in front of their fire. In fact, as a result of their 24/7 policy, they often have food available when no one else does.
One thing that makes Instant Soup special from many other kitchens is that they have no rails. They want everyone to come in and feel welcome, to be able to come up to the fireplace. They also circle up at least once a day to get on the same page, express gratitude, acknowledge those plugging in, and offer an Om before a meal. Instant Soup also has a reputation for being a music kitchen and is a favorite hangout of many different musicians. You can often find a large jam session happening right under their eaves.
If you want to try out their fare, though, you’ll have to come visit them. They don’t serve main circle.
Have any stories about Instant Soup? Leave them in the comments!