Given the stunning — and seriously soup-unfriendly — weather this week, I’m surprised anyone came out to the Hideout this week. Why weren’t you out riding your bikes?
That we had not just a crowd, but a big, happy, generous crowd is largely due to the efforts of Amy Bogl, pictured with the thumb, above right. Amy’s the president of the auxiliary board for Teen Living Programs, the recipients of this week’s Soup and Bread donations. Amy did a great job rallying her base — and it paid off, as we raised $589 on the organization’s behalf.
But, of course, it’s not just about the money — it’s about the soup. And we were swimming in it. Our eight soup cooks did not let the 80 degree weather cramp their style, turning out one winter-worthy pot after another.
In her second Soup and Bread this month, Sharon Bautista — along with and her Fork in the Road partner Dimitra Tasiouris — produced a nutty and sweet coconut-red lentil concoction that was addictively good.
Third-grade teacher Megan Roberts celebrated spring break by donning an adorable yellow apron and dishing up a spicy pot of corn and hominy chowder, decisively putting hominy over the top as *the* go-to ingredient of Soup and Bread 2010.
Sarah Merchlewicz produced a vat of wild rice and mushroom soup that was earthy and rich — and, I must say, even better when sprinkled with the white truffle salt that was being passed around at the bar.
Amy herself whipped up a bath of “Gumpy Fingers” — a shrimp corn chowder full of tender fingerling potatoes, roasted poblanos, bacon, and, according to her little sign, “love.” And her friend Wade Thompson channelled his inner Peter Rabbit to create the vegan “Mr. McGregor’s Bounty,” a fresh, spicy blend of russet and Yukon gold potatoes, leeks, and guajillo and jalapeno peppers.
These three — Simon Tankard, Richard Stacewicz, and Dan Miller –signed up as a team, and arrived toting their own crock pots full of, respectively, potato-leek soup billed as “from New Zealand,” sopa de limon (a traditional Mexican lime soup served with avocado and chips), and a hearty, garlicky white bean with dark greens.
Simon, who also brought his own salt and pepper shakers, is on the board of H.E.L.P., which serves restaurant-quality meals to homeless and needy individuals once a week at the Catholic Charities building on LaSalle Street. Donations from *next week’s* Soup and Bread are going to them, so be sure and come back!
Also in the house: Waffleizer! Daniel Shumski gallantly toted his waffle iron to the Hideout to produce a batch of delicious waffled chocolate chip cookies. The recipe is here, should you be brave enough to try it at home.
Throw in another batch of bread from the generous bakers at La Farine (I could live off their ciabatta) and, frankly, you’ve got a hell of a meal.
There’s just two weeks left of Soup and Bread 2010: Stay tuned for next week’s roster of cooks and news on the hotly anticipated return of Soup and Pie.
And for now? Go outside!
Tags: Amy Bogl, Dan Miller, daniel shumski, Dimitra Tasiouris, Fork in the Road, H.E.L.P., Megan Roberts, Richard Stacewicz, Sharon Bautista, Simon Tankard, Teen Living Programs, Wade Thompson, Waffleizer