This Soup Will Tell You How Polluted London’s Air Is

Lucy Bloxham Lucy Bloxham


Pea Soup House is a new pop up installation in the lobby of the Royal Institute of British Architects serving colour-coded soup that changes daily according to air pollution levels. In order to raise awareness of the problem that London suffers astronomically from, the colour-coded menu is free, with its soup matching the government’s Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI). “People might come to Pea Soup House not knowing much at all about air quality, or just say ‘free soup, brilliant’ – but that for us is a way into a wider discussion,” says architect Chris Allen.

Flavours start with pea soup – green for good air quality, then move to yellow butternut squash or red pepper and chilli as the air gets worse, finishing with an eye-watering purple beetroot and horseradish flavour when the pollution is high. The kitchen has thus far given away around 50 cups a day, and almost unbelievably, they have all been green! Although…it has only been a week… Angeletia Clarke, Pea Soup House’s chef joked that “I need to find a way to jazz it up a bit with this good air”.

A study by King’s College London last year found that nearly 9,500 people in the capital die early annually because of air pollution, and earlier this year it took parts of London just one week to breach annual limits. So, everyone, soup spoons at the ready and let’s get fighting pollution one slurp at a time!


Featured Image Credit: Twitter

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