Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Reiss’

White Bean Soup

February 16, 2010

From Kelly Reiss/The Vegetarian Librarian

Serves 8-12

[Ed: Kelly and her husband Jason brought along cornbread to serve with this hearty vegan soup – and some adorable preprinted recipe cards to boot.]


2 cups dried white beans
1 large white onion
1 green pepper
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup sofrito
8 cups of water or stock


Rinse beans thoroughly in cold water. Place in a pot with 6 cups of cold water. Cover and let rest for 8 hours. Or bring to a rapid boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for an hour. Drain and rinse again.

Chop onion, carrot, pepper, and celery. Place veggies in crock pot with beans, cumin, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Mix together. Add 8 cups of water. Mix a second time. Turn crock pot on high for 6 -8 hours.

When beans are soft, the soup is done. Remove bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to create your desired thickness. And for the garlicky kick, add in sofrito prior to serving.


Vegan Corn Muffins

February 16, 2010

From Kelly Reiss

[Ed: Adapted (ie: vegan-ized) from the classic recipe found on a bag of Aunt Jemima Cornmeal.]


1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened soy milk, spoiled with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer beaten with 2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 cup canola oil


Preheat oven to 425° F and thickly grease 10 muffin tins with vegan shortening.

In large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk. Milk will thicken and will become texture of buttermilk. Add oil, soymilk, and egg replacer mixure to dry ingredients. Beat with wire whisk about 1 minute.

Spoon batter into muffin tins, until a little over half-filled, bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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.

Spring vegetable soup

March 31, 2009



From Kelly Reiss
Serves 6-8

1 lb. leeks
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
6 small red potatoes
1 cup baby lima beans
1 bunch of watercress (spinach works, too, if watercress isn’t available)
8 cups of veggie stock

olive oil, salt & pepper

Trim and chop leeks into small pieces. Over a medium heat, saute leeks in a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the bottom of a decent sized soup pot. Stir frequently. After five minutes add chopped carrots and celery. Cook another five minutes or so until the carrots and celery start to soften up, then add the veggie stock. Chop potatoes with the skins on and add to the pot. Toss your baby lima beans (fresh or frozen) into the mix. Keep flame at a medium heat and cook for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes and beans are tender. Remove big stems from watercress, chop remaining leaves and stems loosely. Add watercress to the soup and turn off the flame. Cover pot and let sit five minutes before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

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.