Earlier this week a group of enterprising women out west got together for a soup party. More specifically: a Soup and Bread party.
Each tried her hand at a recipe from the Soup and Bread Cookbook, and then they all came together on Monday night to share the results. Up for judgement: Robin Linn’s Wild Mushroom Soup, Sarah Best’s Lentil Soup, Roger Greene’s Deli-style Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup With Shredded Flank Steak, Allison Stout and Andrea Deibler’s Khao Tom, Gapers Block’s Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup, and Carmen Capotosto and Gary Calhoun James’ Curried Red Lentil Soup.
Reports our Seattle correspondent, also known as my mother, “They were all delicious!”
OK, she may be biased. But based on the pix they sent, the recipes seem to hold up pretty well. And the plating skills of this group put me to shame.
Says mom: “Everybody there but me is a real cook — they love to cook and they were analyzing things and making little tweaks and writing them down in their cookbooks. I’m the only one that didn’t bring their cookbook!”
She did however pass along some notes.
Alice, who tackled the cabbage and steak concoction (above), says that to brown the flank steak she needed a higher temp than “medium to low”. “I recommend removing the onions and garlic and turning up the heat to medium-high and browning the steak. Remove the steak, turn down the heat to medium low, deglaze and then return the onions and garlic and proceed with the recipe.”
She also adds: “More stock than 8 cups could be used. Possibly 2 or even 4 more because the liquid evaporates with the lid not on the pot completely as it cooks for an hour.”
And Heather, who essayed the mushroom soup, skipped the booze as she had neither Madeira nor Marsala in the house, but, “It was delicious without!”
Mary (my mom) made the lentil soup, as, after careful consideration of her options, she pegged it as the easiest of the bunch. But she didn’t count on having to navigate one of the (mercifully) few errors we’ve found so far in the book. The recipe itself calls for “3-4 cloves, peeled, smashed, and roughly diced.”
Have you ever tried to peel a clove?
As she quickly sussed out, that should be 3-4 cloves GARLIC. Lentil soup fans take note.
There was also bread, wine, and some sort of “frothy lemon thing” for dessert, and — best of all — at the party they decided to collectively contribute start-up kits to furnish an apartment in Canaday House, a transitional housing facility for homeless men and women currently under construction in downtown Seattle.
This is the first I’ve heard of anyone putting on a Soup and Bread house party, and I LOVE IT. I would do it myself if I weren’t up to my neck in soup already. But, if you try it, will you let me know how it goes?