YMCA MK launches SoupFest: The ultimate winter warmer

Soup is one of those foods that will mean something different to each of us. The simplicity of a warm, nourishing bowl of food is something I think many of us will think fondly of. For me, soup reminds me of my grandparents. I used to stay with my grandma and grandad and at around 5 o’clock, my grandad would return from work on the building site. My grandma would have a pot of steaming hot soup on the hob. As soon as he came through the door, it would be on the table in a little brown bowl with a soup spoon. If it was a minestrone, I was in luck because he’d spoon the pasta out onto the plate for me to eat. 

For my grandad, that bowl of soup when he came through the door signalled coming home. When I make minestrone soup in my own kitchen, that salty smell of the stock takes me back to my grandma’s house.

Soup is often linked to the homeless, with soup kitchens providing a hot meal and short relief from the streets. Soup is also low-cost but highly nourishing. It is one of the reasons that YMCA MK’s new fundraising campaign makes so much sense.

“Soup is low-cost to make and highly nourishing.”


‘SoupFest’ launched this week, a recipe book featuring 24 delicious soup recipes contributed by restaurants, businesses and community groups from across Milton Keynes. You might have heard of YMCA MK (though possibly more likely of their social enterprise café, HomeGround).

Remi is one of the residents at YMCA MK and also works at HomeGround, the YMCA MK Café. His recipe for beetroot and horseradish soup is nourishing, colourful and cheap to make. In the current cost of living crisis, you can use red cabbage in the soup if you don’t have much beetroot to make this soup really affordable.

COMING SOON: An interview with Remi from YMCA MK

I attended the launch of SoupFest at YMCA MK’s Community Space and got to try two of the soups from the book, including Remi’s. I was pleasantly surprised at the subtly of horseradish. I also tried Richie’s Spiced Squash Soup which was totally delicious and perfect for the current season.

Soups from the book will be made and sold at HomeGround MK in the coming months – So make sure you pay it a visit!

SoupFest features 24 recipes contributed from restaurants, businesses and community groups across Milton Keynes.


About SoupFest

SoupFest features 24 soup recipes. Some are from residents of YMCA MK others are from restaurants, businesses and community groups from across Milton Keynes. Contributors include Paris House, Namji, Scania, MK College and Warbler of the Wharf. A group of YMCA residents also worked alongside the chef at MK College to create a Spiced Butternut Squash. 

It’s sponsored by Cranswick Foods and 100% of the proceeds go directly to YMCA which will help them continue to support young people in Milton Keynes.

The book is just £5 and will be available to buy in HomeGround Café at the YMCA campus, on the YMCA MK website as well as at a number of pop-up events planned before Christmas.

Who is YMCA MK?

YMCA is the only provider of supported housing dedicated to young adults aged 18-35 in Milton Keynes. Since 1981, they have supported more than 10,000 young people. They provide practical, emotional and employment support to help our residents belong, contribute and thrive.

The state-of-the-art campus opened shortly before lockdown. It provides safe, secure homes for up to 242 young adults. The new campus also features their social enterprise, HomeGround, which I am sure you will be familiar with. The coffee shop offers work experience, training and employment opportunities as well as a revenue stream from YMCA.

YMCA Milton Keynes is an independent charity and affiliates to YMCA England and Wales. YMCAs operate in 700 different communities across England and Wales, impacting upon the lives of more than 570,000 people every year. For further information please visit www.mkymca.com.  

How to support YMCA

You can support YMCA MK this winter by buying a book or hosting a soup supper. All you need to do is invite some friends around, make a soup from the book and raise money for a local charity. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SoupFestMK on social media.  

To download a fundraising pack and find out more about hosting a Soup Supper, visit YMCA MK’s website. To chat to their fundraising team about supporting YMCA MK through your business, you can Lorraine Devereux via email: lorraine.devereux@mkymca.com. 

I hope you enjoyed finding out more about YMCA MK and SoupFest and that you will join me in supporting it. I’ll be updating my blog with an interview with Remi so stay tuned.

Enjoyed this blog post? Sophie etc. provides free content to help you discover more of MK. Any money I make goes back into the content that I create. You can support my website by leaving a tip via ko-fi so I can continue to support more local businesses in Milton Keynes. Thank you.

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