Posts Tagged ‘Allison Stout’

Soup cooks, 3/30

March 26, 2011

Another jam-packed lineup this week, including:

Butcher Andrea Deibler, from City Provisions

Baker Allison Stout, from Hoosier Mama Pie Co.

Music maker Frank Orrall, from  Poi Dog Pondering, ETA: Frank is sick and had to cancel

Music sellers Mark and Heather Ferguson, from Hard-Boiled Records

Abra Berens, from Bare Knuckle Farm

Kathy Burke, Angela Sanka, and Anastasia LaBorde, from Twisted Dish

and we’ll also have a soup from Inspiration Corp., the beneficiaries this week of your soup largesse. Inspiration has been doing great work in Uptown and on the south side for years now, and have recently expanded to the west side with a new cafe in Garfield Park.

Musical accompaniment this week courtesy the lovely DJ Numinous Radio, aka Carolynn Travis, aka Chaka

See you there!


Week 15: And so we come to the end

April 20, 2010

There was so much going on at last week’s final Soup and Bread (and Pie) that wrapping it up has proved a challenge. Do I lead with my new hero, Hot Doug Sohn? Doug showed up bright and early as we were still setting up tables. He brought along two large pots,  one bursting with 20-sausage chili, the other brimming with tortilla soup. He brought his own burners. He dished up bowls of deliciousness till the bitter end, then stuck around to clean up. We couldn’t get him to sit down and have a beer! He even helped count the cash. Doug, you win. You really are the nicest guy in Chicago food.

But I don’t mean to shortchange the contributions of the rest of the soup team. Take Allison Stout, over there on the far right. Last Wednesday morning I was fretting, fearful of a looming soup shortage. I Twittered my anxiety to the world, and Allison responded in a flash. “Off today and could bring by some potato soup. Let me know.”  Voila! Another soup, social media-style. Thank you Allison! You also win. As of today, I just heard, she is gainfully employed as the CEO of Hoosier Mama‘s savory quiche and pot pie program. Lucky duck.

Of course, between Doug and Allison, our friends at Swim Cafe (who came through this week with an artichoke and green pea soup), the surprise chili contribution of our neighbor Dan Blue (recipe for “Crazy Dan’s Hot Aged Chili Cooked With Hydrogen” coming soon), and the scheduled soup stylings of the rest of our cooks, there was no actual soup shortage. Christine Garcia, in the bottom-left corner there, produced a pot starring this season’s stealth ingredient, hominy. Specifically a smoky white bean-chipotle-hominy soup whose complex balance of flavors (there’s also a lot of garlic and cumin involved) belies its alleged simplicity. And Josh Hudson stifled his inner carnivore to produce the nutty, vegan “Iranian Enrichment Program” soup, a chickpea, spinach, and sun-dried tomato concoction shot through with … spices. When he gets me the recipe I’ll tell you exactly what spices.

Cheesemonger Brad Bornac paid tribute to the arrival of tiny baby Olive with his Olive Tortellini in Basil-Parmesan Broth, a spin on a family favorite called Ravs in Broth. And Hideout talent booker Jeanine O’Toole honored her Irish heritage with a vegan curried carrot soup she dubbed Carrots O’Toole. Because, you know, the Irish are so famed for their curries. And their vegan cookery. Both Brad and Jeanine have already sent along their recipes (win!) and I should have those up soon.

But — wait — here I am going on and on about soup and neglecting not just bread, but our special guest star, pie! The fantabulous Sheila Sachs, who also produced a light and springlike vegetable-pesto soup last week in honor of cookbook donors the Gills, rounded up a stellar array of bakers to contribute pie. And cookies. And cake. The above photo was taken before half the night’s baked bounty arrived —  but note tasty “free spinach brownies” at bottom right. All our bakers are winners, but Henry and Beckett? Ultrawin.

We also had a overflowing basket of Soup and Bread-themed minibrownies, courtesy of the lovely Liz Tamny.

And the piece de resistance: the Soup and Bread Crock Pot Cake. Courtesy of mad genius baker Celeste Dolan and her partner in crime Devon Bergman. Inside: layer after layer of chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream. Allegedly, one soup-hungry guest tried in vain to take the lid off this crock to see what lay inside. I really wish I had seen that.

I’d also like to take a moment for a heartfelt shout out to Rida Shahin, Clare Kellam, and the rest of the staff at La Farine. They have graciously donated bag after bag of bread to the cause this winter, and if you’re not hooked on their chewy, salty ciabatta by now you really don’t know what you are missing. Stop by the bakery some time (@ 1461 W. Chicago) and find out; they’re the nicest people southeast of Doug, and seriously skillful bakers to boot. Thank you so very much, Rida. You win too!

The weather last week was fantastic, allowing us to spill out onto the patio. A good thing, since a slew of regulars and newcomers, like my buddy Lilli, above, turned out to sample the night’s extensive menu. And, thanks to the generosity of this big and happy crowd, we raised a glorious $526 for Ravenswood Community Services.

And so, we come to the end of this action-packed soup season. But … not really. There are more recipes to come, and another cookbook to write, and plans for summer soups to confirm. And, of course, there’s bingo. Stay tuned for more on bingo, and much more on soup. And thank you so much for sticking around through Soup and Bread 2010. It was pretty awesome, all around.

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

February 20, 2010

From Allison Stout and Andrea Deibler/Lost in the Supermarket

Makes about 12 standard muffins

[Ed: I got neither a taste nor a photo of these, darnit. Per Allison the recipe is adapted from one for Cheddar-Buttermilk Cornbread in the December 2002 issue of Bon Appetit.]


1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 – 6 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh, if in season)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs
¼ cup melted butter, cooled


Preheat oven to 400°F. Use butter or baking spray to grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add corn to skillet. Stirring frequently, cook corn for 3-4 minutes or until heated through and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.

Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Mix in cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, cream, eggs, and melted  butter to blend. Add buttermilk mixture and cooled corn (along with any fat from pan) to dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated taking care not to over mix. Let batter rest for 5 minutes, then spoon into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ full. Bake about 18 – 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden on top. Devour.

Week seven

February 19, 2010

February 17, 2010: The night of no vegetarian soups.

I’d like to just take a moment to address the issue, which most of you were pretty gracious about, though a few were a little miffed.

Every week I try to ensure that there will be at least one vegetarian soup on the roster. But, as the cooks are volunteering their time and their ingredients, I don’t feel it’s right to tell them what to make. This is supposed to be fun and fulfilling for cooks and eaters in equal measure!

That said, this week was an anomaly. Two cooks dropped out at the last minute: one I knew was a vegetarian, the other I’m not sure about, but, regardless, I was scrambling to make sure we had enough of *anything* to eat this Wednesday. The vegetarian thing?  It fell through the cracks.

So I am very, very sorry if anyone came to Soup and Bread this week and was disappointed. We certainly don’t want anyone to go away hungry! But I do also feel that the unscripted, roll-the-dice-and-take-your-chances aspect of Soup and Bread menu planning is part of the deal. I mean, it’s free soup. Some weeks we wind with 6 vegetarian soups; other weeks (like this one) even the purest-looking stews have chicken stock hiding beneath their chickpea and lentil trappings. What’s a girl to do?

L-R: Tamiz, Chuck, Andrea, Luke, and Megan

Anyway — as I said, most people were gracious about this weird fluke. And the soup we did have was awesome. On with the recap!

On deck:

Tamiz Haiderali, chef and owner of Treat Restaurant, with a creammmmy goat cheese bisque.

Chicagoist food and drink editor Chuck Sudo, with smoky chicken and sausage gumbo. Sadly, his hoped-for cornbread decided to stick to the pan and stay home.  Sometimes food has a mind of its own.

Lost in the Supermarket‘s dynamic duo of Andrea Deibler and Allison Stout, with their own corn muffins and some seriously beefy chili (though, I thought they were bringing potato-leek soup?).

Writer, designer, and caterer Luke Joyner, who at one point told me he was cooking up some roasted garlic soup, instead whipped up one of our most x-treme soups ever, a dark, funky, turkey-and-stout soup served with pistachios, fresh raspberries, and chocolate chips.  Whoa. He also brought some homemade ciabatta.

And, holding down the end over there, registered dietician and Chicagoist writer Megan Tempest, with a protein-packed Moroccan chickpea and lentil stew. (Check out her nice writeup here.)

I should have recipes for this wild and woolly bunch of soups up soon — and breads too, I promise. I have a major backlog of recipes provided by busy baker Rae Hill that I still need to transcribe. (Did I mention that I’ve also been floored by this damn cold that’s going around?) But, that rockin’ Parmesan bread is first up, I swear.

This week Chef Kraus’s class generously provided 15 loaves (!), a mix of Normandy Apple, Sweet Rustic, and Country Wheat breads. This was a hearty supplement to the baguettes and ciabatta donated by our friends at La Farine Bakery. They don’t have a website, but Here’s a good overview of their outfit from LTH Forum’s happy_stomach, who’s spearheading plans for an all-LTH Soup and Bread night on March 24.

Celeste and Devon also came by with truffles and bacon pralines (!!) left over from Celeste’s Valentine’s Day sale and tasting last weekend at Juicy Wine Company. I couldn’t make it out of bed to attend, but she says there may be another one in the works for next month. We’ll keep you posted. Because, holy cr*p those truffles were good.

Also in the house, Erin Stephens, director of volunteers for Lakeview Pantry, on whose behalf we raised a whopping $551, setting another new Soup and Bread record.  Frankly, folks, it didn’t *seem* that crowded — I can only guess that even the disappointed vegetarians tossed a little somethin’ in the pot. Otherwise where’d all that cash come from? (Seriously, you people rule.)

And, that’s all for this week. Next week: so much vegetarian soup the carnivores will revolt. I promise. And I’ll post that schedule soon.

Soup cooks 2/17/10

February 12, 2010

I’m paying the price for last week’s excitement — a hedgehog has built a nest in my throat and periodically tosses out bits of one lung. So, of course, I am hopelessly behind on multiple fronts. But, here’s who’s on soup duty next week:

Graphic designer and caterer Luke Joyner

Chicagoist food and drink editor Chuck Sudo

Chicagoist food and drink writer Carrie Becker

Chicagoist food and drink writer Megan Tempest


Lost in the Supermarket‘s Allison Stout and Andrea Deibler

Donations from this week’s Soup and Bread benefit Lakeview Pantry. See you Wednesday!

ONE MORE COOK JUST ADDED: Tamiz Haiderali, chef/owner of Treat Restaurant.

Lost in the Soupermarket

April 6, 2009

Andrea and Allison, of Lost in the Supermarket, have a nice writeup of S&B on their blog, along with their recipe for khao tom — which, if you were lucky, you may have gotten a taste of on the 25th. I didn’t, so I guess I’ll have to make my own!

Khao tom — Thai chicken and rice soup

April 1, 2009



From Allison Stout and Andrea Deibler

2 quarts homemade chicken stock, plus 1 cup
Leg and breast meat of one 3-4 lb roasted chicken
1 bunch of scallions sliced
1/4  cup picked cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, divided
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili flakes in a teaball infuser (or tied up in cheesecloth)
2 cups cooked basmati or jasmine rice
1 stalk of lemon grass, peeled to center, bottom only
Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Chicken
3-4 lb roaster chicken
3 cloves garlic
¼ onion, thickly sliced
1 lime, halved (lemon, or orange will substitute)
4 slices bacon
Kosher salt and pepper
Kitchen twine

Wonton Garnish
Wonton wrappers
Canola/vegetable oil
Kosher salt
Juice of 1 lime

The chicken:
Preheat oven to 375° F.  Remove the giblets.  Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry inside and out with paper towels.  Sprinkle outside of chicken and cavity liberally with salt and pepper.   Stuff cavity with garlic, onion and lime.  Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.  Wrap bacon over the chicken breast and roast on a rack, breast side up, until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 165° F.  Let the chickens rest and cool for at least a half an hour.  Remove the thighs and breasts from the chicken. Remove the meat from the bones, discarding the skin.  Cut the cooked breast and leg meat into 1/2 inch squares.

The wontons:
Heat 1 ½ inches of oil in a deep, heavy, pot over moderately high heat until a thermometer registers 360° F.  Slice wonton wrappers into strips about 3 in. x ½ in.
Gently lay 10 strips on oil and fry, turning over once, until golden, 15 to 30 seconds total.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.  Fry the remaining wonton strips 10-15 at a time.  Sprinkle with lime juice (do not soak, wontons will become soggy) and season with salt. 

The rest:
Cook the rice according to the package’s instructions using chicken stock in place of wate (if using water, add 1 tsp salt).  Add 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar when the rice is cooked.  Set aside.

Heat up the chicken stock, slowly to 165 degrees F.  While heating, add the lemon grass stalks, whole, and the teaball of chili flakes. Once the stock is hot, add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and remaining vinegar, and season with more salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the lemon grass stalk and teaball.  Add the cooked chicken.  

To serve, put a 1/2 cup of the rice into each soup bowl.  Ladle the hot soup on top of the rice and garnish liberally with the scallions, cilantro, and wonton crisps.    

Soup and pie

March 26, 2009


Last night was a Very Special Edition of Soup and Bread, thanks to the vision and initiative of Sheila Sachs, pie maven.


Chocolate-peanut butter pie. Cherry pie. Ginger-apple pie. Apple pie with an all-butter crust. Lemon custard. Pecan. Angel-cream pecan. Maple-pecan tart. Chocolate cake and banana bread, to mix it up a bit. And, to cut all that sugar, a savory tomato-cheddar pie. It was truly overwhelming — and I hope very much to have some recipes to share soon. In the meantime, thanks so much to Sheila and her squad of bakers: Jane Roberts, Irma Nunez, John Roeser, Renate Durnbaugh, Anastasia Davies Hinschliff, Deanna Varagona, Liz Tamny, and Derek Erdman!


And then, of course, there was soup. Chunky, aromatic Khao tom (Thai chicken) with wontons, from Allison Stout and her catering partner Andrea (last name??); light spring vegetable flecked with watercress from Vegetarian Librarian Kelly Reiss; rich poblano-potato-corn chowder from Christine Garcia; smoky beef chili from Josh Hudson; thick and hearty lentil from Sarah Best; and a complex, dubiously Bulgarian (her words!) tomato with couscous dumplings from Susannah Strang.


We had a terrific turnout: so much so that all the soup was gone, gone, gone by 6:20. Which is both great and a bit regrettable. Or, at least, I regret it. I only got to taste two of the six, darnit. Thankfully, the recipes are already pouring in.

We raised $228 for the Food Depository, which brings puts us $89 past our end-of-season goal of $2,000. And that is … it’s amazing.  And makes me so happy. Like this:


Meanwhile, there’s still one Soup and Bread to go, and it’s going to be a doozy. Don’t touch that dial — we’ll be back soon with details.