Saturday, March 19, 2011

Barley-Lentil Soup & Radical Hospitality at the William Penn House

Last weekend, I traveled to Washington DC to work with one of my clients of my website design business. The William Penn House is a Quaker hostel and program center on Capitol Hill. I was delighted to discover that in addition to html and Drupal, there was also soup!

The staff and volunteers at the William Penn House strive to practice Radical Hospitality. In explaining Radical Hospitality, Faith Kelly, the hospitality coordinator at William Penn House, quotes St Benedict: "to invite all people into your house as if they were Christ.” I think that radical hospitality should also include soup.

On the last day of my trip, William Penn House hosted a group of Friends from Friends House in Sandy Spring MD for lunch and I was invited to join in their meal of lentil-barley soup, homemade wheat bread, salad, and brownies. Faith made a huge pot of delicious soup. She cooked from a recipe from an Amish cookbook called Plain and Simple Cooking. The soup was rich, hearty and vegan. The barley gave it a wonderfully comforting texture. Faith used red lentils which disintegrated into the broth, as red lentils do, to blend with canned tomatoes and carrots and make a lovely bright orange color.

As you can see, everyone certainly enjoyed the lunch. If you want to give this soup a try but don't have the book, I found this recipe that looks pretty close.

I close this week's blog post with a bit more on Radical Hospitality from Brad Ogilvie, program director of the William Penn House:
Our goal is to simply provide hospitality – a warm place where those gathered can share their hopes, dreams, visions. Among these are family and friends. We ask that people recognize that we do not seek to persuade people in any way. It is an exercise in hospitality – for us to be together, learn together and grow together. We will not agree on all things, and even where we might agree, we will not agree on how we get there. We do ask that we agree to listen to others, being free to speak our truth while welcoming others to do the same. It is out of this shared experience that we become better for having our time together.

1 comment:

  1. When I was at William Penn House in the early 1980's we would go around WDC and serve soup with the Salvation Army. It was fun!