Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Huff’

Week nine

March 5, 2010

Check out those buns! Or, erm, rolls.

Yes, I finally bought a new, better camera. Let’s hope I don’t drop it, lens first, like I have the last two. Because, seriously? My clumsiness is getting expensive.

Those luscious lumps of dough, above, are black sesame-sea salt rolls from Chef Kraus’s Elissa Narrow’s baking class at the Illinois Institute of Art; Rae and I are heading down there tomorrow for an open house and to say THANK YOU to all the students for helping bring bread out of the Soup and Bread shadows. Hopefully I will have more photos.

And, speaking of bread — I have a special place in my heart for delicious things made with stale bread. Apparently Celeste does too, because she decided to break in her brand-new chafing dish with a giant pan of Gruyere-and-caramelized-onion bread pudding (above), made from some leftover bread from a few weeks back. What’s better than food from stale bread? Food from stale bread topped with melted cheese. I’m working on getting the recipe.

Between Chef Kraus and the kind people at La Farine, we were rolling in bread (and rolls) this week, but the sweet side of baking was underrepresented — until Sheila SHOWED UP WITH PIE. Specifically, an apple pie with a crumb topping loaded with cinnamon and sugar. YUM! So good. Recipe on that also coming soon.

And, oh yeah! The soup. Pictured here, from left to right, are this week’s marvelous team of soup cooks:

Chris Carollo, who’s working hard building support to establish a community supported kitchen (or more than one!) in Chicago. He brought savory beef stew that, he admitted, was more labor-intensive than anticipated. You could taste the difference.

Cara Tillman, who brought a smoky pork pozole built on one of the tastiest pork broths I’ve ever encountered in all my soup travels. Not a lick of fat, but so dense with flavor!

Camille Severino, who organizes the annual Jambalaya Fest at Fitzgerald’s, brought a hearty vegetarian minestrone. Sadly, that’s all I can tell you, because before I got a taste it was gone, gone, gone.

And, on the end, representing the crew of Gapers Block‘s Drive-Thru section, editor in chief Andrew Huff and his wife Cinnamon Cooper, whose Everything Cast-Iron Cookbook comes out later this year. Congrats, Cinnamon!

With help from Drive-Thru editor Robyn Nisi and a couple other folks whose names I missed, Andrew and Cinnamon whipped up THREE soups:

Sweet and Sour Tomato Soup with Cabbage and Sausage (!!!)

Roasted Tomato Soup (a reprise from last year)

and West African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup, which is featured in Cinnamon’s book and — Brandy and I agreed — was a deliciously odd texture, sort of like pumpkin pie filling if it was made with peanut butter.

Strangely, it didn’t seem that busy this week, but all the food was GONE by 7 PM. My apologies to anyone who missed out — it’s so hard to gauge how much soup we need, and balance that against how much we can handle! A year later I think we’re still figuring it out.

But, still, even if traffic was slow, we raised $327 for Catholic Charities. So maybe I just wasn’t paying attention and there was actually a mob in the back room. It’s not out of the question.

Check back this weekend for at least some of these recipes. And see you next week!


The clean-crock club

February 26, 2009

super soupers

Behold, this week’s smiling soup chefs. From left: Joe [last name?]  Germuska and Bettina Tahsin, Cinnamon Cooper, Andrew Huff, Robyn Nisi Jill Jaracz, and Dan Rybicky. Why are they smiling? Why, because it’s 6:45 and we’re not yet totally, utterly, completely out of soup.


By 6:50 it was another story.

Blame it on the power of Gapers Block, from whose ranks came three of our chefs. Blame it on the nice plug from the webzine Chicago 6 Corners. Blame it on the bike messengers. Blame it on the beautiful (and fleeting, boo) weather. 

Whatever the X-factor, we had an awesome turnout for this week’s Soup and Bread. Awesome for all save those who turned up at 7 and were left to lick lentils out of the bottom of a crock.

Last week we had leftovers. This week, a mad 6 PM rush. What can I say? It’s not an exact science. For what it’s worth, ever since we started up in January I’ve been asking volunteers to make about two gallons of soup each, and while some of our more pro donors — Swim, the Handlebar, Milk & Honey — have generously provided far more than that, I don’t want to prevail on the enthusiastic amateurs to do more. Two gallons is about the max you can turn out in a home kitchen, and even that can be a challenge.

Rest assured, though — we at Soup and Bread will continue to fine-tune the soup-to-people math in weeks to come. By April 1 we just might have it nailed.

Bread, on the other hand, we again had coming out our ears. Hugh came down with the flu and had to reschedule for next week, but our new friends at Whole Foods again donated a healthy bagful of day-old loaves and rolls. Thanks Whole Foods!

While it lasted, by the way, the soup was delish, tho I only tried three of the five: Bettina’s zesty butternut squash with ginger and red lentil, the Gapers Blockers’ rich black bean and pumpkin, and Dan’s crazy Carribean mash-up, which featured both pineapple and kielbasa. The vegan tomato soup was gone before I could even look at it funny, and then it got busy and I watched from behind the bar as the chicken noodle slipped away. 

Those last two were also courtesy of Gapers Block. Andrew, Cinnamon, Jill, and Robyn (who couldn’t make it) are planning on writing up their collective experiment in soup cookery over on Drive Thru sometime soon. And, of course, recipes for as many as I can get my hands on are pending.

Lastly, I should note that people were as generous as they were hungry. Donations for the night came to $235 — a Soup and Bread record. Thanks very much to one and all.