The Harmonie cafeteria served fifty-three different soups last year. Vegetable soup was the most common soup on offer, while pesto soup only made the menu once – apparently it was not a success. Four Faculty of Arts students listed all the data in their WhatsSoep Wrapped.
Instagram account WhatsSoep keeps track of which soups are available in the Harmo cafetaria every day, so their 600-plus followers know whether it is worth making the trip. The account was set up by information science student Hilde Jongeling, but in the fall of 2021, the four arts students – who wish to remain anonymous – took over.
‘Nobody really thinks about soup, but we think about it a lot’, the four say. They diligently record all the data in a ‘soup chart’ that categorises each soup by colour and category. ‘But we’re not crazy!’
When the WhatsSoep guys aren’t available, they get help from others to keep the chart up to date. To express their thanks, they came up with the idea for an overview – inspired by Spotify Wrapped, which shows you what music you’ve played as in the past year.
Here’s what they found: that 63 percent of soups were vegetarian or vegan, that mustard soup and onion soup were often served on the same day, and that in summer, curry soup is often on the menu, while pea soup is a staple in winter. The five most commonly served soups were vegetable soup, mustard soup, mushroom soup, tomato soup, and pumpkin soup.
There is no preconceived plan behind the soups, though, says Harmonie cafeteria’s chef Niels Oosterhof. ‘It’s always a surprise what will be on the menu’, he says. Every morning, he checks in the pantry what ingredients are left over from the previous day and then decides on the spot what soups he can make with them. After thirty-five years in the kitchen, he relies on his experience: he never uses a recipe.
The students behind WhatsSoep hope that nothing will change in the coming year. And secretly they also dream that one day they will get to help prepare the soup. ‘Be there at 10 o’clock in the morning, help stir the soup. We feel it’s going to happen.’
View WhatsSoep Wrapped on Instagram: @WhatsSoep