W.P.A. Soup: A Recipe for Hard Times... To be able to make something from nothing is a handy skill to have and an essential ingredient for success in any endeavor. Soups made from just water and root vegetables were commonplace during the 1930s. This "upscale" version of a Great Depression soup attained its WPA moniker because employment with the agency allowed for the addition of meat and eggs to recipe. Enjoy!