Souper Jenny’s for the Southern Soul
PODCASTJewish Time

Souper Jenny’s for the Southern Soul

Episode 7, Season 2: Jenny Levison, founder of Souper Jenny's, talks all about her non-profit, "the Zadie Project," and how she went from actress to culinary sensation.

Jeff Silberblatt is delighted to welcome Jenny Levison to the Jewish Times podcast. Jenny is the mastermind behind Souper Jenny, a thriving chain of five restaurants serving delectable soups and salads in the bustling Atlanta metroplex. Beyond her culinary success, Jenny’s heart shines through her creation of The Zadie Project, a 501c3 nonprofit named after her father (“Zadie” is Yiddish for “Grandfather”), and dedicated to providing healthy nourishment to children in Title 1 schools. Prepare to be moved by Jenny’s journey and the impactful initiatives of The Zadie Project. Tune in for a dose of inspiration, and you may find yourself craving a visit to one of her inviting locations after hearing about the mouthwatering menu!

[0:24] Jeff introduces Jenny Levison
[1:46] Jenny shares the Souper Jenny story from its creative inception
[4:04] Jenny describes the menu at Souper Jenny, “My Dad’s Turkey Chili,” and the Zadie Project
[7:50] Discussion of how the Zadie Project was conceived and functions, and Jenny shares what her father taught her about philanthropy
[10:21] The farm’s original intent was to provide produce for the restaurant, what customers say about the restaurant and the food and Jenny’s goal for the Zadie Project
[12:09] Discussion about the locations of the restaurants and Jenny’s opinion about how Atlanta has changed over the past 25 years and how they managed through Covid
[16:36] Discussion about menu items and Jeff shares his appreciation to Jenny for what she does for the community

Jenny started a 501c3 called The Zadie Project. The project provides better nutrition to Title 1 school system kids. They started by donating 30 quarts a week and are now donating 800. The goal is to donate 1000 quarts each week.
The menu at Souper Jenny changes daily except for “My Dad’s Turkey Chili,” a staple. All the profit from this soup goes to The Zadie Project.
Early on, the farm was designed to grow produce for the restaurant. The demand for produce at the restaurants is so great that the farm can’t keep up. It is now used as an educational place for school groups. The produce is sold, and the proceeds go toward the Zadie Project.


Jenny Levison is a local celebrity, national TV personality and cookbook author. Before entering the restaurant business, the Atlanta native attended Carnegie Mellon and worked as an Actress in Los Angeles and New York. She moved back to Atlanta to perform with Actor’s Express and has been here ever since.
After spending two years traveling the world and learning to prepare different cuisines, Levison realized the one thing that was universal was soup. This realization was her inspiration to start Souper Jenny in 1999. From that initial inspiration, Souper Jenny now has five different locations, the Souper Farm and “The Zadie Project,” a nonprofit that provides meals to Atlantans in need.

About The Zadie Project:
The Zadie Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization feeding Atlanta’s hungry children, families, and seniors. Levison chose the name to honor her father, Jarvin Levison, known as Zadie (Yiddish for grandfather). He is her inspiration for cooking and the motivation for getting involved in her community. He also gave Levison her first soup recipe, My Dad’s Turkey Chili. In Souper Jenny’s 25-year history, it is still their most popular soup.



“Souper Jenny was born from a two-year trip around the world. That was my culinary education. I wanted to travel and learn how to cook from regular people from different countries. When I returned, I sat on the floor of my Buckhead apartment with all these scraps of paper, and 90 percent of the recipes I had learned were soups. That was the aha moment of what I want to do.” Jenny Levinson

“The Zadie Project started with a handful of schools. Now, they have analytics showing how their grades improved when students have better nutrition. We started offering 30 quarts a week, matching up with anyone we knew needed assistance, and now we are donating 800 quarts a week.” Jenny Levinson

Atlanta Jewish Times – Jenny Levinson archives 

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