Week three

“OH MY GOD, IT’S ANOTHER AMAZING SOUP!”*

*Says David Meyers, Resistance Coffee CEO and deliveryman

Week three of S&B 2010 was our biggest yet, with a roster of soup cooks one blog commenter described as his “dream Soup + Bread line-up.” But never fear, “Chaperone,” it’s just going to get bigger and better from here.

Here’s what was in the crocks:

Vegan sweet-potato, hominy, kale, and black bean soup from the lovely Carol Watson, chef and owner of Milk & Honey Cafe and Cipollina (and the genius behind Milk & Honey’s ridiculously addictive granola).

Savory chili made with pork and beef raised by Beth and Jody Osmund, of Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm — who brought their three adorable boys along for the ride.

A duo of soups — one  classic French onion and the other a smoky black bean — from Chicago Reader editor Alison True and Montessori middle school teacher Rick Mosher, with help from their son George who, in a Soup and Bread first, got an hour of community service credit for slicing all those onions.

A yummy vegan tortilla soup — with optional cheese! — from Numero Group producer and archivist Michael Slaboch, who went so far as to post a little preview on his blog.

And, last but definitely not least, a silken butternut squash soup (also vegan) made with curry and coconut milk from the good people at Lula, delivered by catering manager Suzanne Bachman (sp?).

L-R: Beth (and son), Michael, Rick, and Alison

Now, it’s true that, in general, I have a sort of knee-jerk compulsion to keep things positive here on the blog. And I often find myself running my vocabulary of superlatives into the ground in an effort to say good things about each and every soup. And, it’s true that some soups are just less successful than other soups. (I found out the other day that one of my friends has started to tuck a salt shaker into the pocket of his jacket when he comes out on Wednesdays.) But this week? This week each and every soup was, really and truly, superamazingdelicious.

Really.

So, I hope that the cooks send the recipes my way, so I can share them with you. So far this season we’ve had some serious hits in those crock pots, but the recipe-delivery part of the program is barely creaking along. I hate to nag, but, people, PLEASE SEND IN YOUR RECIPES. That’s the part that completes the circle. Plus, if you don’t, next year’s book is just going to be full of recipes from my father.

But I digress.

Bake Sale for Haiti

There was a lot more than just soup going on this week. Baker Rae Hill continued to play with bread recipes, dropping off boxes of black sesame-seed bread, sweet rolls, and a vegan almond-milk bread she dubbed “surprisingly successful.” She also brought along some of her homework from pastry class at school, in the form of vanilla pound cake with chocolate ganache and two versions of devil’s food cake, one with ganache and one with a chocolate butter cream. I’ve been told we can look forward to more treats in the future. And, hopefully, some recipes.

And, finally, just in case we hadn’t had enough sugar, earlier this week Joanna Miller, who runs My Vegetable Blog, organized a very successful bake sale as part of the Hideout’s benefit show for Haiti on Monday night. The benefit generated more than $8000 for Partners in Health, and $700 of that came from the bake sale. In fact, the response from bakers was so overwhelming that Joanna and her partners had a lot left over at the end of the night — so she came back to the H/O on Wednesday and sold off the rest during Soup and Bread. I’m donating the additional $122 she raised that evening to PIH via Intelligentsia’s matching program, which will double the dollar value of all those granola bars and rosemary shortbreads. You should check it out.

Joanna was an avid bingo player back in the summer, and she’s on the schedule to make soup in a few weeks, along with her friends Andrea and Gemma, but I had never met her before Monday night. And — I swear — I had no idea that she was also working on a review of the Soup & Bread Cookbook. Seeing that pop up in my Google alerts yesterday was a surprise of the nicest possible kind.

Also a nice surprise? We raised $390 for the Irving Park Community Food Pantry, a record so far this year, and no small change relative to last year’s events either.

So finally, earnestly, I’d like to just say, again, how gratifying it is to dump out the donations pail at the end of each night and bear witness to your generosity. Between Monday’s show and this week’s S&B it’s almost overwhelming. Times are tough all over, and I don’t think there can be that many closet millionaires lurking in the Hideout’s patron base. (Am I wrong? Call me.) Yet, still, the support has poured in, born through the doors on a river of good will. All I can say is, whether you’re responding to the epic tragedy of an earthquake or the day-to-day hunger of someone just up the road,  you’re all the richest people in the world.

More soon, including video (!) and, hopefully, recipes.


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