Week 12

… aka the Week in Which I Get Other People to Do the Work for Me.

Our soup cooks this week came to us from the ranks of LTH Forum — “the Chicago-based culinary chat site.” LTH’er Sharon Bautista organized a mighty crew of eight, who came bearing crocks and coolers loaded with seven fantastic soups, not to mention premade signage, ladles, paper towels, cornbread, baguettes, and I don’t even remember what all else.

In fact, this group is so organized that most of their recipes are already up on the LTH thread dedicated to Soup and Bread, along with photos and lots of commentary. The thread, in which the participants swap tips and jibes, and try to figure out what this whole Soup and Bread thing is about, makes for fun reading — and, honestly, I’m not sure what all else I can add. But I will be reposting the recipes over here as time permits. In the meantime, here are some photos, and a few notes of my own.

Here’s most of the crew, including — from the far right, Sharon, David Hammond, Steve Zaransky, and Gary Wiviott. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get the names of the ladies to the left, though I’m pretty sure the one farthest left is Wendy Dilliard. (Last name? Anyone?)

The soups were a terrifically diverse bunch, from Wendy’s vegan curried squash and red lentil soup (pictured up top) to Gary’s kneifla, a beef soup with drop dumplings made from his mother-in-law’s recipe.

We also had (in honor of the week’s historic act of Congress) a take on the storied Senate Soup fron LTH denizen “mbh” Maribeth Heeran (Again, still trying to track down everyone’s proper names … ) and David Hammond’s encore rendition of last year’s mulefoot pozole.

Here, Hammond and Steve Zaransky discuss proper transportation techniques for hot pots of soup. Or, maybe they’re just shooting the breeze  — heck if I know. But more than one LTH’er arrived with a piping pot of soup wrapped in hot towels and snugged into a cooler, as above. If anyone’s struggling with their own soup transportation issues, this did seem a quite effective solution.

The quarter’s over at Illinois Institute of Art, so no more experimental challah or addictive cheese bread from Chef Kraus’s students. But our friends at La Farine continue to supply us with starches. This, above, I believe is a ciabatta, shaped into lovely, branchlike form and dusted with pepper, poppy, paprika (?) and I’m not sure what all else. And Kim Soss brought hamentashen!

And, of course, the money: Thanks to your generosity, we raised a tidy $297 for the food pantry at the Howard Area Community Center. Way to go team!

Lastly, in other news of the you-do-it-so-I-don’t-have-to variety, earlier this season Mike Sula brought *two* soups to Soup and Bread; one, a tasty mushroom-sauerkraut, is posted here. The other we kept on the DL. Until today. Behold, the recipe for Asian Carp Hot-and-Sour Soup. I’ll just second what Mike says in his post: It tasted better than it looked.

More soon, including the lineup for next week, including a very special surprise guest, whose contribution is, I’m pretty sure, a Soup and Bread first. Just don’t start talking to him about fruit.

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