Posts Tagged ‘hugh amano’

Tadashi Ramen: Pork, Beef and Chicken Dashi, Pork Belly Sous Vide, Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms

April 5, 2011

From Hugh Amano

Serves roughly 10

The dashi found in last year’s Pork Dumpling Gang has been developed and enriched here with the addition of roasted beef and pork neck bones, chicken feet and pig trotters. The broth gets a huge bolt of smokiness from bacon ends from Benton’s in Tennessee, but a standard bacon can be used–the smokier the better. The pork belly is cooked sous-vide, meaning it is sealed in an airtight bag, which is placed in water and cooked low and slow, essentially braising in its own juices. There’s more at Hugh’s blog, Food on the Dole.

For the dashi:

Ingredients

2 pounds beef neck bones
2 pounds pork neck bones
2 large pieces of Kombu
1 pound chicken backs or bones
1 pound chicken feet
2 pig trotters
1 pound smoky bacon, the smokiest you can get
2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 star anise
1/2 cup cane vinegar, or to taste
1/2 cup soy sauce, or to taste

Preparation
Heat oven to 400°. Put beef and pork neck bones on sheet pan and roast in oven for 30 minutes. Flip bones and roast for an additional 15-30 minutes, until bones are deeply roasted.

While bones are roasting, put kombu in large stock pot and cover with 20 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let steep for 10 minutes. Remove kombu and discard or save for another use.

Put raw chicken backs or bones, chicken feet, pig trotters and bacon into the kombu water and return to the stove over medium heat.

When the beef and pork bones are done roasting, pour off any melted fat and save for another use. Add roasted bones to the water. Put roasting pan over a high flame and pour a cup or so of water into the pan to deglaze it. Scrape the pan with a spoon or spatula to remove any flavorful bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour all of this goodness into the stockpot with the bones. Be sure bones are submerged. If more water is required to submerge bones, add whatever it takes.

Bring stock just to a simmer, and allow to simmer slowly (a bubble or two every couple of seconds) overnight, occasionally skimming any scum that forms on top. Naturally, water will evaporate from the pot, so take note of the liquid’s starting level and replenish every hour or so as necessary.

Add mushrooms, onions, carrots, scallions and star anise. Simmer for one more hour.

Remove from heat and let fully cool under refrigeration or, if it is winter in Chicago, on a porch/stoop/fire escape. When cooled, the stock will be separated into solid fat at the top and gelatin beneath the fat. Scrape solidified fat from the top of the stock and discard, or save for another use, then reheat the stock until it is liquid again. Strain the stock through the finest strainer available. Reserve mushrooms for the pickled shiitake mushrooms and discard everything else.

Taste stock and add cane vinegar and soy sauce. Stir stock completely and taste again. Adjust flavor using additional amounts of these two seasoning agents. This broth should last about seven days.

For the pork belly:

Ingredients
2 pounds boneless pork belly, skin off
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 star anise
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Place all ingredients in plastic bag designed to be vacuum sealed, evenly spacing ingredients. Vacuum seal bag, then place in an immersion circulator set around 142 degrees and cook for 12 hours. Let pork belly cool, then place in a pan, still in the bag. Cover with another pan, then weigh this pan down with heavy cans and refrigerate overnight. The idea is to compress the pork belly into a compact “block”. After pressing, remove belly from its bag. When ready to serve, sear pork belly on a hot cast iron pan over medium high heat, 3 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, then cut into thin slices.

For the pickled shiitake mushrooms:

Ingredients
Reserved shiitake mushrooms from dashi, sliced thin
1/4 cup dashi
1/2 cup cane vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal (chile paste)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Preparation
Bring all ingredients but the mushrooms to a boil. Pour over mushrooms and let cool. Cover and keep refrigerated. This’ll keep for about a week.

To assemble dish:
Good quality packaged or homemade ramen noodles (available in most Asian markets)
pork, beef and chicken dashi
pork belly sous vide
pickled shiitake mushrooms
scallions, sliced
radish Sprouts
nori

Simmer noodles until cooked, then rinse in a bowl of very hot water. Drain, then place in a bowl. Add a few slices of pork belly and a few pickled shiitake mushrooms, arranging in an attractive manner. Sprinkle scallions and radish sprouts in bowl. Place a piece of nori in the bowl. Present to your guests. At the table, ladle hot dashi into each bowl. Serve with chopsticks.

Sincerely yours, Soup & Bread

March 25, 2011

People talk a lot about “community building,” but in the case of Soup & Bread, I think what we’re up to could better be called “community revealing.” Building implies a master plan — a certain top-down intentionality. But on soup nights like the one this past Wednesday what happens in the back room of the Hideout is nothing more structured than the spontaneous illumination of pre-existing relationships whose true detail had been perhaps in shadow until the light of soup was shone upon them.

In that room there was a gardener who ran the program at the school where the parents’ children grew peppers. She was working on a new project with the editor, who was friendly with the social worker, who knew my friend the mom, who brought her friend the musician, who brought bread to donate to the table. The writer was working on a project with the editor, who lived up the street from the gardener, and used to work with the other writer, who was pals with the restaurateur, who had hired the bartender (the other bartender) to paint his shop. And, well, you get the gist. It was all very six-degrees-of-soup-separation.

It feels silly sometimes, writing about soup week after week.  Doubly so lately, because when not trying to find new ways to describe something that’s both very simple and yet, like all good communities, can be much more than the sum of its parts, I’m finishing up work on the new edition of the Soup & Bread Cookbook. A girl can only handle so many labored soup metaphors in a day.

But nights like this one make it not seem so silly after all. I often don’t get to experience Soup & Bread in the moment: there are drinks to be made, and ladles to be washed, and bread to be cut, and when it’s all over I just sit there and think, “Did that just really happen?” (My consistently terrible photo documentation doesn’t help, though I take some pride in being responsible for possibly the blurriest photos on the internet.) But this was really something, and even I could see that.

To a backdrop of tunes spun by Sound Opinions producers Robin Linn and Jason Saldanha, we had a densely complicated oden from Mike Sula, who came in disguise, and Elizabeth Gomez (above), who was in Japan most of last month and flew home from Tokyo the day after the earthquake. We had refreshing tomato, basil, and white bean soup from Laura Fox and her mother, Monica. Laura’s been helping me wrangle recipes for the cookbook for the last few months, and without her I would be lost. And we had a hearty white bean and smoked sausage soup from James Sapytka, who is a standup guy and friends with our equally standup, if elusive, door guy Al.

We had savory roasted onion soup from Sarah Steedman, and roasted beet soup from Cleetus Friedman, above in the apron — beet soup that had the ability to send a seven-year-old boy back for thirds. (A million thanks also to Cleetus for the sandwich, which I desperately needed later on.) We had ramen from Hugh Amano, next to Cleetus, whose support of Soup & Bread is only equalled by his superlative soup-making skills.

And we had not one but two soups — a tangy Pakistani chicken soup and a zesty Haitian “Independence Day” soup full of butternut squash — brought by the ladies from the Marjorie Kovler Center for Treatment of Survivors of Torture at the Heartland Alliance, the beneficiary of this weeks’ soup donations. We (by which I mean “you”) raised $570 on their behalf, and as staffer Mary Black wrote me later, “Most of the clients who come to Kovler are political asylum applicants who live without work authorization or access to government subsidies (such as a Link card) until they are granted asylum — this can take years! So having access to healthy food is primary, as you can imagine. $570 is a tremendous help!”

There are just three weeks left of Soup & Bread this year, and we’ve got some heavy hitters on the docket. More info to come about next week’s lineup. In the meantime, earnestly, honestly, thank you. Without you we’re nothing.

Sincerely yours,

Soup & Bread

Soup cooks 3/23

March 17, 2011

Oooh, it’s going to be crowded on the soup line this week! In the house:

Chicago Reader food columnist Mike Sula and roller derby queen Elizabeth “Juanna Rumbel” Gomez

City Provisions empire-builder Cleetus Friedman

Food on the Dole writer and chef Hugh Amano

Artist/crafter Sarah Steedman

Former door guy Al’s friend James Sapyta (how’s that for networking?)

Writer and recipe-wrangler extraordinaire Laura Fox — and her mom

And two (and possibly three) soups contributed by volunteers from the Heartland Alliance’s Marjorie Kovler Center. Proceeds from this week’s Soup & Bread benefit the Kovler Center’s efforts to aid survivors of torture from around the world, and help them and their families build new lives in Chicago.

That is a * lot * of soup, folks. And don’t forget the bread, from our friends at La Farine Bakery. Musical entertainment provided by our DJs, Sound Opinions producers Robin Linn and Jason Saldanha.

See you there, then. Come hungry!

Pork Dumpling Gang: Pork Dashi, Roasted Pork Belly, Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms, Pork and Ginger Tortellini

February 13, 2010

From Hugh Amano

Serves 6

[Ed: This lovely soup may be rather involved, but the complex, delicate results are well worth the effort. Says Hugh, “Dashi is a basic stock used ubiquitously in Japanese cooking. It gets much of its flavor from kombu, a dried kelp that lends the stock its salty, nearly meaty backbone and katsuobushi, dried, fermented and smoked bonito tuna flakes. In this adaptation, influenced by David Chang’s Momofuko, I wanted to go for a more porky, meaty flavor, so I omitted the katsuobushi and pumped things way up with pork neck bones, chicken bones (if you can find chicken backs, or are in possession of a chicken carcass, this is best) and a few cubes of concentrated lamb stock I had in the freezer. All ingredients can be found in an Asian market. Don’t worry if you don’t have frozen cubes of various meat stocks in the freezer.”]

For the pork dashi

3 pounds pork neck bones
1 large piece kombu
1 pound chicken backs or bones
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup cane vinegar, or to taste
1/4 cup soy sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
juice of 1/2 lime
Heat oven to 400°. Put pork neck bones on sheet pan and roast in oven for 30 minutes. Flip bones and roast for an additional 15-30 minutes, until bones are deeply roasted.

While bones are roasting, put kombu in large pot and cover with 10 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let steep for 10 minutes. Remove kombu and discard or save for another use.

Put raw chicken bones into the kombu water and return to the stove over medium heat.

When the pork bones are done roasting, pour off any melted fat and save for another use. Add roasted bones to the water. Put roasting pan over a high flame and pour a cup or so of water into the pan to deglaze it. Scrape the pan with a spoon or spatula to remove any flavorful bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour all of this goodness into the stockpot with the bones. Be sure bones are submerged. If more water is required to submerge bones, add whatever it takes.

Bring stock just to a simmer, and allow to simmer slowly (a bubble or two every couple of seconds) for about 6 hours, occasionally skimming any scum that forms on top. Naturally, water will evaporate from the pot, so take note of the liquid’s starting level and replenish every hour or so as necessary.

When one hour of cooking time remains, add mushrooms, onion, carrots and scallions. Simmer for final hour.

When the stock is done, remove from heat and let rest for 30 minutes or so. After resting, strain the stock through the finest strainer available. You can use a double layer of cheesecloth to help get things nice and fine. Reserve mushrooms for the pickled shiitake mushrooms and discard everything else.

Let stock settle and skim fat from the top. Save fat for another use. Taste stock and add cane vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir stock completely and taste again. Adjust flavor using additional amounts of these four seasoning agents. This pork dashi should last about seven days.

For the roasted pork belly

1-2 pounds pork belly, skin off (depending on how much you love it)
3 tablespoons kosher salt (per pound of pork belly)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar (per pound of pork belly)
any spices you might like (this is up to you and by no means necessary and will develop as you develop your pork belly roasting mastery. Suggestions? 5-spice, fennel, cumin, coriander, etc.)

Rub pork with all other ingredients. Put in a plastic bag and seal. Place in refrigerator and let cure overnight. If you can’t do overnight, give it as much time as you can. Even an hour.

Heat oven to 400°. Remove pork from bag, discard any liquid, and place pork in roasting pan, fat side up. Roast for 60 minutes. Lower oven to 250°. Roast an additional 60-90 minutes until outside is crisp and inside is tender. Remove from oven and let cool in a refrigerator. When cooled, slice into thin chunks. Use in the next couple of days.

For the pickled shiitake mushrooms

reserved shiitake mushrooms from pork dashi, sliced thin
1/4 cup pork dashi
1/2 cup cane vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal (chile paste)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
Bring all ingredients but the mushrooms to a boil. Pour over mushrooms and let cool. Cover and keep refrigerated. This’ll keep for about a week.

For the pork and ginger tortellini

For the dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in bowl and knead well until a smooth, cohesive consistency is reached. Let rest for 20 minutes. Roll to your pasta roller’s thinnest setting and cut into 3” diameter circles. Keep covered so dough does not dry out.

For the filling:

8 ounces pork shoulder or loin, cubed
2 ounces pork fat back, cubed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 scallion, finely minced
2 teaspoon sambal
3 tablespoons cane vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai basil, minced
1 tablespoon culantro (a cousin of cilantro, thus cilantro may be substituted), finely minced
1 egg

Grind pork and fat, or finely mince. Add all other ingredients and combine well. Poach a small sample and taste for seasoning, making any necessary adjustments.

To assemble:

3” dough circles
pork and ginger filling
1 egg yolk

Brush half of a dough circle lightly with the egg yolk. Place a small amount of filling, roughly 1/2 tsp, in the middle of circle. Fold bottom of circle up to create a half moon containing the filling. To create tortellini shape, place the flat edge of the half moon across your pinky so it forms a cross with your pinky. Wrap the dough around your pinky, overlapping the two ends and pinching them down to seal. Use egg to help adhere the two ends to each other if necessary. Remove from finger and place on floured sheet pan.

To assemble dish

pork and ginger tortellini
roasted pork belly
pickled shiitake mushrooms
culantro, chiffonade
Thai basil, chiffonade
scallions, sliced
pork dashi

Steam or simmer tortellini until filling is cooked all the way through. Place 4 tortellini in the bottom of a soup bowl. Add a few slices of pork belly and a few pickled shiitake mushrooms, arranging in an attractive manner. Sprinkle a pinch each of culantro, Thai basil and scallions in bowl. Present to your guests. At the table, ladle hot pork dashi into each bowl. See the goodness. Smell the goodness. Taste the goodness. Feel the goodness.

Week 6

February 13, 2010

L-R: Hugh, Roger, Robin, Kelly, the masked souper

Thanks to the snow we had a small but cheery turnout this week — which just meant there was plenty of soup to go around! And, thanks to my poor communication skills, we were down one soup from the planned six, but, thankfully, Mike Sula covered the gap with a surprise second soup that … well … I think he’s going to write about it eventually so I’ll won’t steal his thunder. Let’s just say it was a Soup and Bread first. And very boney.

Mike’s already provided the recipe and backstory for his other soup, a Slovak mushroom-sauerkraut concoction adapted from a recipe pinched by his father’s cleaning lady from her sisters-in-law, over on the Reader’s food blog. I’ll get that up over here  whenever I get over this godawful cold and manage to dig out from under a sudden avalanche of recipes. Not that I’m complaining. Bring on the recipes!

Also on deck:

The talented and eloquent Hugh Amano, of Food on the Dole, with a pork dumpling soup built around a Frankenstein’s stock of pork neck, chicken bones, extra lamb stock, and dashi.

Personal chef Roger Greene, with Linguisa Sausage, Cheddar Cheese, and Oranjeboom Lager Beer Soup, possibly the most snowstorm-friendly pot ever.

The Vegetarian Librarian Kelly Reiss, with not just a hearty vegan white bean soup but delicious vegan cornbread and adorable preprinted recipe cards to boot. The recipe’s already up on her own blog, over here.

And, last but not least, Sound Opinions producer and soup fan Robin Linn, whose roasted garlic soup with spinach and Parmesan was really terrific. In her words, “Not suitable for Valentine’s Day, but great for colds.” I wish I had some right now.

We also had a dense, rich chocolate tart baked by Celeste, and lots of bread donated by our friends at La Farine Bakery on Chicago Avenue, as well as breads and cheesecakes from Rae Hill and her fellow students at Illinois Institute of Art. Rae’s given me a pile of bread recipes to transcribe, and let me tell you the very first one is going to be for the amazing Parmesan bread. Seriously, Rae. People were moaning.

As I said, it was a mellow crowd, but those who did manage to dig out and make it to the bar also dug deep into their pockets. I was pleasantly surprised to empty the donations bucket and find $250 in there. It’s all going to Casa Catalina, the food pantry run by Holy Cross/Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Back of the Yards. Thanks, y’all.

See you next week!

Soup cooks 2/10/10

February 5, 2010

We’re kickin’ it old school at Soup and Bread this week, with the return of some soup-savvy veterans from 2009. On deck are:

Sound Opinions producer Robin Linn (best known for last year’s hit, Wild Mushroom Soup, found on page 90 of the cookbook)

Chicago Reader food writer Mike Sula (Kimchi Chigae, p. 16)

Food on the Dole‘s Hugh Amano (Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup, p. 21)

Artist and high school teacher Susannah Kite Strang, (Dubiously Bulgarian Tomato Soup With Couscous Dumplings, p. 96)

Dinner is Solved personal chef Roger Greene (Deli-Style Sweet and Sour Soup with Shredded Flank Steak, p. 8)

and our favorite documentarian, the Vegetarian Librarian Kelly Reiss* (Spring Vegetable Soup, p. 98)

What will they make this time around? Can they avoid the sophomore slump? Tune in and find out on Wednesday, February 10, at the Hideout.

*Go  here for an awesome video account of Kelly’s soup-making adventures last year.

Free-range bread

March 8, 2009

 

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From Hugh Amano

Flour
Water

To capture airborne yeast, combine a couple of tablespoons of flour with a couple of tablespoons of water. I use filtered water, incidentally–have you smelled tap water lately? There is so much chlorine in it, I fear it won’t give the tiny yeast a fighting chance to breed. So, knead the dough a bit, then put it in a bowl, cover it with a wet towel, and let it hang out. After a couple of days, there will be a bit of a crust on the dough; peel it off and discard it. There should be some evidence, however slight, of yeast production in the form of tiny bubbles or holes in the dough.

Refresh the starter by doubling the amount of flour and water used previously and repeat the process, again checking progress in a couple of days. Repeat again. By the third refreshment, there should be ample evidence of the yeast.

At this point, you should have a small bit of starter, weighing roughly half a pound or so, depending on how much crust had to be thrown out. Add about 8 ounces of flour, and enough water to make a firm dough that is slightly tacky to the touch, but not sticky. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes. Let rise until about double in size. Knead in about 2 tsp. of salt, and shape bread as desired. When doubled in size, bake in a 425 degree oven until done, maybe 20-25 minutes–it’ll sound hollow when tapped, or the internal temperature will be around 190-200 degrees.

Turning up the heat

March 6, 2009

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We’re pulling into the Soup and Bread home stretch — only four nights left! — and the cooks are getting competitive. This week saw our first DESSERT SOUP, a decadent cream of walnut puree infused with Sauvignon Blanc-poached pears courtesy of Jen Moniz (above, right).

Meanwhile, Megan Larmer (center) turned out a complicated ham hock-habanero stew full of plump, chewy cornmeal-plantain dumplings. This woman cooks for a living — and she’s looking for a job.

Also on the market, our favorite chef on the dole, Hugh Amano, brought three loaves of crusty “free-range bread” made by harvesting wild yeasts from the air in his apartment and slooooowly cultivating a sourdough starter. Detailed instructions coming soon.

Back on the soup rack, Nancy Kim — the third member of the Megan-Jen-Nancy cooking club — brought a hefty pot of firey beef chili; Vanessa Mendicino dished up a light pasta e fagiole (and brought with her a friend who said he used to hang out at the Hideout 40 years ago, when the old owners set out their own Italian lunch spread for the Goose Island factory workers who were the bar’s original regulars); and Jill Barron came through with a vegan yellow split pea complete with cilantro relish on the side. “Vegan, but still delicious!” the vegetarian-chef-who’s-not-really-a-vegetarian made sure to write on the tag.

Also this week, we made $164 dollars in donations, bringing the total thus far to $1,343. The new goal? To clear $2K by April first. That doesn’t seem that unreasonable, does it?

Lastly, for your pleasure, here are a few more miscellaneous photos, from this week and weeks gone by — because it’s about the people, not the insides of a bunch of soupy crock pots, right?

Recipes coming soon!

ryan and jessica

happy soup eaters

more soupers

she and LP

back room

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Guest soup chefs, March 4 edition

February 27, 2009

Dang — next week’s cooks are ORGANIZED. They’ve already coordinated their soups to avoid overlap. I think this is a first.

And they are:

Vanessa Mendicino, with pasta e fagioli

Mana Food Bar chef Jill Barron, with (probably) a veggie Indian yellow pea soup

Jen Moniz, who is promising our first dessert soup, in the form of cream of walnut with poached pear puree (!!!).

Megan Larmer, with “something with cornmeal dumplings.” (Megan’s also a cofounder of this nifty project to establish heirloom community orchards in Chicago.)

And, lastly, Nancy Kim, whose soup remains shrouded in mystery.

Add to that bread from Whole Foods and from Hugh (assuming he’s over the flu) and we are good to go!

See you there: 5-8 PM at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Yay.

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.

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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.