Soup and Bread Marathon, 2/3-2/4/10: Part 1

Sheila moving merch

I pulled up at Sheila’s around 2 last Wednesday, and after she let me in we just looked at each other and sucked in a shared deep breath.

“You realize our trip starts now,” I said.

Sheila: “Oh, totes.”

The jeep was already awash with the toasty aroma of fresh-baked bread; a trio of technicolor tarts from Rae balanced on the back seat. On top of that we packed in a new batch of Soup and Bread aprons, stacks of signed prints from Paul, Soup and Bread cards, a shoe box full of miscellany, a pile of spanking clean tablecloths, and our own anxious asses.

Off to the Hideout!

Tart!

That night’s Soup and Bread was a joy. For one, we had a ridiculous surfeit of bread, thanks to the combined generosity of bakers at La Farine, Crumb, and the Illinois Institute of Art culinary school. We also had not one but two people keeping things humming in the back room – and I can’t thank Celeste* and Devon enough for their calm organizational genius. And, of course, we had seven ace soup makers, all of whom who all brought their A-game.

In the crocks:

L-R: Andrea, Cleetus, Lorna

Savory — but light! —  lamb-black bean chili from Forkable‘s Andrea Newberry.

Smoky red lentil soup served with dukkah, an Egyptian blend of nuts and spices, from the Kitchn contributor and My Vegetable Blog proprietress Joanna Miller.

A complex and piquant chipotle and cumin black bean soup from Gemma Petrie, the Pro Bono Baker.

A simple but exceedingly flavorful yellow winter vegetable soup from former Vella Cafe co-owner Melissa Yen (although, wait, do Granny Smiths count as a winter veg?).

Rich cream of mushroom soup with leeks and pancetta from the City Provisions team of Cleetus Friedman and Lorna Juett.

Blurry Kent (L) and Rob (R)

A vibrant potato-butternut-leek soup from Roommate impresario Kent Lambert.

Creamy and satisfying zuppa di spinaci e risotto (or, yes, “spinach and rice soup”) with Pecorino and/or Parmesan from Bloodshot Records co-owner Rob Miller.

Donations from this week – a tidy $393 – go to the Franciscan Outreach Association in Wicker Park. And, best of all, this week has been so crazy backwards that almost all the recipes are already up on the blog.

Postsoup cocktails lasted just long enough for me to get anxious about my empty suitcase. I don’t know when everybody else went home, but I was in bed at the almost-vaguely-reasonable hour of 1 AM.

Less than 24 hours later I was scrubbing pots surrounded by nearly naked strippers.

Coming up next: Brooklyn!

* Speaking of Celeste, she’ll be selling tasty pastries and other sweets — as well as Soup & Bread Cookbooks — this Saturday at the free Wine + Sweets + Love tasting at Juicy Wine Co., at 694 N. Milwaukee. It’s from noon to 4 PM. Linzer cookies! Mini chocolate cream pies! Hand-rolled truffles! What more could you want? Other than, you know, free wine?

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