The hidden soup bar

The Medium explores DT soup options

It seems to me that everything these days is customizable. You can pick a case for your cell phone, a background for your desktop, and even those funny little Pandora charms on your charm bracelet. You can put buttons on your backpack and order custom-designed Converse shoes online. There is no end to it—something I learned the hard way. Because these days, you can even get customized soup.

Located in U of T St. George’s Medical Sciences building food court, I discovered the make-your-own soup bar because of an ad in the downtown campus’s food map. This, I assume, exists because there are actually varied options on the downtown campus, unlike good old Mississauga.

I wonder if food in the Medical Sciences building is better than anywhere else because med school students have to fill out food diaries for assignments. Regardless, they also have a customizable wrap and salad bar, as well as a spring rolls chain and a calzone place. The calzone looks a little sketchy, but nonetheless it takes me about 10 minutes of walking back and forth to decide whether I want a wrap, salad, or soup. I settle for soup because that’s the whole reason I came here to begin with.

I am asked to choose three veggies and one meat from the huge selection available. I pick spinach, sweet potato, green peppers, and chicken. These are lightly fried while I choose quinoa as my grain and beef broth as my stock. You can also have pasta, rice, or noodles in the grain department and chicken, miso, or vegetable broth.

What amazes me is that the whole thing tastes so healthy. I feel like I’ve actually consumed a normal human amount of three out of four main food groups. I ate vegetables and whole grains. On campus. I can’t get over it.

My only complaint is the amount of sodium that I suspect lurks in the beef broth. Don’t get me wrong—salt is delicious—but I might have just inched myself a wee bit closer to an early heart attack.

So go ahead, renew your Chartwells contract. See if I care. I’m going to be eating custom-made soup with the science-brained people downtown.

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