Serial Soup Murderer

Emma Hepperman had a soup recipe for special occasions. It was a delicious potato soup. I would venture to guess that it was made with local ingredients... it may have even been vegan and gluten-free. However--and this is a big but--it was not arsenic-free. She finally got nabbed in 1940 after murdering her seventh husband, however if you read this article by a child of husband number six, you'll find some juicy stories about the alleged murders of the... aw hell, it's so obvious we don't need to say alleged... the murders of the previous six husbands.

Anyone out there that wants to co-write a musical version of this story please contact me.

Soup Vids

Your soup video playlist for this week... one of my favorite bandleaders, King Curtis, offers his Memphis Soul Stew...

Who can forget Gene Wilder's Soup Beautiful Soup from the 1999 Alice In Wonderland?

I love this up-and-coming famous soup song from those crazy Brits on The Mighty Boosh...

The lovable 1930's Flip The Frog does this great soup song... fast-forward to 3:20 to watch the soupmaking segment.

'Cause The Man Is Wise!

Sadly, neither my recent email warning nor the spate of press regarding the last soup-related cocaine bust at a DC area airport was enough to prevent Jorge Luis Posada Guevara from trying the same old trick. This time, the bust occurred at Dulles airport. Sixteen pounds of cocaine stuffed into dried soup packets. I'm just terribly disappointed in the lack of communication in this Salvadoran drug organization. Is it nobody's job to feed back this critical information to headquarters? At least a little "Hey, Frankie got busted at BWI, they're on to the whole dried soup packet trick so please use hot chocolate or something next time." I don't know if I'm alone here, but I've just come to expect more precision and discipline out of organized criminals.

Advice On Drug Smuggling

I know it goes without saying, but as your friendly neighborhood Soup Peddler, I feel compelled to share this advice. As many of you are aware, I take the responsibility of monitoring soup news from around the world upon myself, in order that you needn't bother yourself with it. When something comes across the ticker that I feel is important to you or your way of life, I share it. I am so moved today, because of the recent rash of soup news pertaining to drug smuggling...

For those of you who are considering drug smuggling as either a sideline to help make ends meet in these trying times, or perhaps as a new career path, I'm certain you'll be interested to know that YOU SHOULD NOT USE SOUP CANS OR PACKAGES TO CAMOUFLAGE YOUR DRUGS DURING TRANSPORT/SALE. It's an old trick and the authorities are onto it. In fact, it's such a pervasive practice that I'm often pulled over for flimsy traffic violations (misaligned headlights, etc.) because of my Soup Peddler bumper sticker. "What exactly are you peddling, friend? Soup, huh? Alright, please step out of the vehicle."

Don't believe me? Follow these links...

Largest drug bust in Cleveland history found with dry soup. Well, what do we have here?

From my hometown airport, BWI, we have a story about Smuggled cocaine hidden in dried soup packets. Clever!

But it's not all grim news... in a surprise happy ending, Ghanaian man arrested with cocaine in soup freed by court. Mr. Darkey's claim that he travelled to Ghana to "purchase vegetables" clearly threw the clearly anti-drug biased prosecution for a loop.

Soup of the Weird

It's been a while... it's been a few months since we've taken a trip down the lamentable avenue of Soup News From Around The World!

First we travel to New Jersey, where a Woodbridge restaurant worker was scalded in a soup fight. An argument over proper preparation for chicken soup. Sad.

South Africa, Eastern Cape province. 14 schoolgirls dined upon dagga soup each morning. Dagga is the South African street term for marijuana.

A sad end for a community's soupmaker in Jamaica... Remains of soup vendor found.

An exceedingly strange photoshop image for an utterly horrible soup story... Russian granny kills grandchildren with poisonous soup.

Unfortunately, this article's text is no longer available, but a Czech research team in Antarctica found and ate a 50-year-old can of soup left by British researchers.

Palm Beach, Florida. Man Finds Rare Pearl in Clam Soup.

Victoria, BC. Soup country. Woman Throws Hot Soup on Convenience Store Worker.

China, big whoops. Chef kills self and customers by adding rat poison to soup.

A followup from a previous story in San Antonio... Man Found Guilty in Manslaughter Charge over Fish Soup.

OK, in order to restore your belief in the goodness of soup, let's turn our attention to some kinder, gentler soup stories...

Hungary holds the World's Largest Soup Fest, with over 2000 kettles bubbling with the region's traditional fish soup.

On the other end of the spectrum, university students in Japan have created the World's Smallest Bowl of Ramen Soup, visible only through a microscope.

Note to self: Write more far-fetched grants... Bristol Scientists Recieve A Million Pounds To Find Out If A Robot Can Safely Stir Soup. Interesting article.

And the winner in the absurdist category for Soup News From Around The World, an article about Soup Contestants Lose Prize Because Their Soup Was Too Fresh. Rules broken included: growing their own herbs, using organic vegetables, and touching the ingredients!

Soup News From Around The World

Welcome to another edition of Soup News from Around the World! The soup world has been abuzz with tales of tampered soup, soup-related violence, and two new soup world records...

It has certainly been a tough year in West Africa, with three shocking soup-related incidents among the populace... first, we visit Lagos, the most populous city in Africa behind Cairo and one of The Economist's least livable cities in the world, where a <"DEAD LINK">Girl bathed her lover with hot soup... please enjoy the lyrical prose style of that article. We turn towards the Gulf of Guinea and bust a right turn, hardly noticing as we pass through Benin and Togo, and arrive in Ghana to read two more horrifying stories... <"DEAD LINK">Grandmother slashes boy for stealing soup <"DEAD LINK">Farmer threatens to kill wife over rat soup.

However, Africa doesn't have a monopoly on soup-related crimes... we turn to England for this entertaining yarn... Diner orders soup - then pulls out a gun... I love the little details in that article. And depending on your legalistic proclivities, this may not even register on the Soup Crime Watch, but here it is... Judge frees dope soup gran.

In the States, though, tampering is the name of the game... even those of you not so attuned to soup news may have heard the following Austin news tidbit: Austin woman accused of poisoning soup . Sad, sad, sad. And here is Chapter MCMLXXIII of a classic American story, some loser trying to take Campbell's for the proverbial ride... Soupcon of rubber leads to food suit... I should write them and key them in on the countless other incidents, like <"DEAD LINK">Man Indicted in Soup Poisoning and Mouse-In-Soup Scam Gets Man a Year in Jail, where it is repeatedly shown that soup crimes do not pay.

Let's take a turn for the positive, shall we? Soupmaker aspirations realized earlier this year when Miljan Stojanic set the world record for largest soup, ringing in at 10,000 liters... Serb cooks most soup. But of course as quickly as the thrill of victory is upon you, you just gotta know what's coming next... the agony of DOH! Venezuela Claims Big Soup Record... if only nationalistic bravado was always expressed in such peaceful measures. The greatest quote comes from the Food Minister in response to reporter questions about why the pot wasn't completely full: "We didn't add more for security reasons." I say, don't give up Minister Oropeza... if a soup-related Guinness Record attempt is impeded for security reasons, then the terrorists have won.

Other international soup stories regarding rare ingredients... India has a programme to send stray dogs to Korea for soup... Dogs' tail soup threat for strays... On the turtle soup front, two interesting articles came up recently... Texas turtles ending up in China soup pots and in Australia, Talking turtles become soup... This shark fin story actually got a little mainstream press, when Yao Ming publicly swore off shark's fin soup. But here's the stupid addendum to the story... his teammate was flagged by animal rights groups a few weeks later... Basketball star berated for shark fin dinner.

Onto some soup health-related articles... this one may be of interest to some Soupies... Tomato soup 'boosts fertility'... I particularly enjoyed this article about the importance of soup in hot climates... Hot soup, spicy food may provide heat relief... Here's one that argues for soup as a key to longevity... Centenarian has never visited a doctor: Soup, milk, beer and loving kindness are Mercedes Salazar's secrets to longevity... and here's one that argues for soup as a key to Tour de France victories... <"Dead Link">Was soup the secret to Lance’s 7 yellow jerseys? . You'll be seeing that soup on our menu next July during Le Tour. And someone needs to get on the horn to RZA, GZA or at least Ghostface Killah... the Shaolin clan has a secret weapon that Wu Tang will need to counteract with even greater and deffer rhymes and beats... Miraculous Shaolin Soul-reviving Soup is Real

We're getting to the end here, thank you for staying tuned... a little PSA about the dangers of the non-Soup-Peddler-sanctioned practice of eating canned soup when combined with the sanctioned practice of recycling... Ravioli, Soup Cans Removed From Cats' Heads. Fascinating little article here, just vaguely soup-related but cool: Scientists Create Tiniest-Ever Alphabet Soup. And the very saddest bit of soup news in recent memory... this one strikes very close to my heart. Do you see what happens? Do you see what happens when you sign on the dotted line? Soup Nazi Goes Down. I've been following this for quite a while. A story of a man who made a deal with suits who spun tales of riches beyond his imagination, who lost his passion, his store, his reputation, and coming soon... his money. A very cautionary tale for this particular Soup Peddler.

Soup News from Around the Globe

Welcome to another edition of Soup News from Around the Globe... another in a continuing series of the wild and strange adventures of soup... our tour this week takes us from the heights of high society to the very underbelly of the lowest scurrying elements of civilization...

Our first stop is UK's Guardian, which tells the story of a $20 million soup bowl, a perfect example of Qing Empire porcelain... the managing director of a Chinese petroleum company took the prize home, we assume very carefully. The most appropriate soup to serve in such a bowl, you wonder? Perhaps Mayfair, UK's Kai Restaurant's version of Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, for nearly $200 a bowl (not likely on the Soup Peddler menu any time soon). Sea cucumber AND six-hour steamed aged abalone nestled together in a $20 million soup bowl... now you're talking soup.

The world's largest soup pot was just unveiled in Guangdong Province, China... one pot can feed over 5,000 hungry soup eaters.

Another entry in the extreme soup category finds us in New York City, downtown, at Ninja New York, where you can treat yourself and your honey to Meteorite Pot, which is a bit of Japanese clam chowder cooked at the table by an 800 degree Fahrenheit rock submerged in the soup. We wonder what kind of liability policy covers such tableside endeavors...

Lots of cocaine/soup links in recent news... this from SomaliNet, a leader in late-breaking African news... a Ghanaian tribal leader was arrested for smuggling cocaine inside cans of palm soup... while the practice of carrying rare foods on airlines is common for African travelers, somehow Accra International's security found cause to double-check this guys carry-ons... on to Massachusetts, where detectives didn't fall for the old false-bottomed can of Chunky Soup trick, which in this case held 45 bags of individual-sale-ready cocaine.

Sadly, there is never a shortage of soup-related violence to report... the always classy and curiously named Narcisco Bismark Murillo of Miami scalded his girlfriend and her son by throwing hot soup at them... quick-thinking Sharon Osbourne dodged a vicious soup attack after a production of Vagina Monologues in UK... in Fresno, CA, a soup argument was the cause of a drive-by shooting... in Brooklyn, vigilantism apparently lives when a homeless man was killed after throwing hot soup at a woman earlier in the day.

And here are the two show-stoppers for this week's installment... I'm not sure I should share this with you... DO NOT VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINK UNLESS YOU HAVE A VERY STRONG STOMACH. THERE IS A VERY DISTURBING PHOTO ON THE PAGE. IN FACT, BE SURE YOU PLACE YOUR ORDER FOR NEXT WEEK BEFORE LOOKING AT IT. IN FACT, NEVER MIND, IF YOU'RE THAT SICK THAT YOU NEED TO SEE THIS, YOU CAN EMAIL ME FOR THE LINK... a Moscow man murdered an elderly movie director, then made soup with the victim's head and kept the heart in the freezer... and for the all-time forever award for biggest soup-related loser, a Georgia dad poisoned his children's soup in order to extort Campbell's soup in a contamination suit. He is in, as you might expect, what they call deep doo-doo.

Soup of the Weird

As November rolls on, the nation's mind turns to the important business of elections (that's your subtle reminder to vote on Tuesday), and our collective stomach sets its attention towards things more soupy... my Google Soup News Alert has been nearly shaking my laptop off the desk with its heightened frequency, an indication of our heartier propensity for soup this time of year. No, that is not a segue, as usually employed, for me to share international stories of poisoned soups, intra-office disgruntled hot soup attacks, etc., but rather to explain my refreshed obsession with soup research. I would like to share with you some soup-related findings from the Library of Congress. Indeed, I am writing to you from my hometown of Baltimore, just up the street from the current home of a former governor of Texas... my visit to the main reading room of the Library was a stunning experience. The susurrations of the page-turning researchers, bouncing off the cavernous walls and vaulted ceilings... the sepia tone of the lighting, dotted with little green reading lamps... all this makes one feel like they are in a cathedral of learning, a holy place of information, a feeling that, no matter how voluminous their indexes, the search engines of the internet could never replace. My discoveries this week are neither mind-blowing nor life-changing, just a little nod to the place of soup in the history of our great nation. Here are some of my findings, ranging from mildly interesting to vaguely stimulating...

We begin with some findings from the WPA Life Histories Project... a most charming transcription of an Italian immigrant's story of saving his neighbor with love and a pot of soup. Next up is a fascinating, if slightly off-color dictionary of cafeteria jargon from a bygone wharf culture. We continue with something from the sheet music collection, the Soup House Waltz, which I'll take a turn with at the piano tonight. Here's a description, and pay attention Soup Peddler Soupmakers, of working conditions at Chicago's Armour Meatpacking plant, circa the time of Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'. I unearthed this etymology of the word 'doughboy' and its relationship to soup. Look under the heading 'The Prize Solution'.

Let's move on to some photographic interest, as I sense your attention wavering ever so slightly from all the text-heavy reference... look here and here and here and here for some photos of convicts and hoboes and general working poor with soup. We have previously touched on the importance of soup in the lives of the military... look here and here and here and hereand here and here for some action shots and the common use of soup as a metaphor for military operations.

Soup has been an important image in race relations... look here and here.

And finally, our founding father George Washington used a rather strongly worded soup metaphor in a letter to his pal and Lieutenant General Rochambeau here and our great Pa Bell, Alexander Graham, that is, was known to quaff soup often; here is a journal entry listing mulligatawny as a favorite. In letters between he and his wife, soup was mentioned no less than fifteen times over the course of their correspondence.