Posts Tagged ‘Maggie Kast’

January 26: The soup in pictures

January 30, 2011

Six tasty soups; one handy chalkboard — and $345 raised for Humboldt Park Community Services.

At left, Dimitra Tasiouras, one half of the Fork and the Road, dishes up their hearty Moroccan Chickpea Stew, while Jody Osmund, one half of Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm, mans a ladle full of Roasted Cauliflower and Potato.

Maggie Kast, who delivered a fierce recreation of a classic Provencale-Style Fish Stew, watches while Paula Ladin (with help from Lucy) dishes up her “Little Bit of Everything” Soup. (Motto: “When in doubt, add more cream”)

And on the far right, Stephen Ucherek shares a vibrant Carrot-Ginger Soup, while, on the other side of Paula, Nate Lepine monitors reaction to his punchy, spicy-sour pozole.

Thanks to all!


Soup cooks, Jan. 26

January 20, 2011

Soup & Bread this week (1/19) saw not six but eight stellar soups, and a bounty of bread to boot. Apparently the bakers at La Farine had been experimenting with new recipes, and we reaped the rewards. Pair that with the onset of winter quarter at IIA, and we can now look forward to tasting the homework of Chef Jeanne Kraus’s pastry students each week as well. This week: baguettes.

Providing soup to in which to soak the bread: Robin Linn, with an English onion soup; Rob Miller, with fantastic “free-range” venison chili; Sarah Dandelles, with autumn root vegetable soup inspired by the one served at the Old Town School; Jill Barron, with a stunning green curry butternut squash; Carol Watson, with potato, leek, and roasted garlic; and Paul Wargaski with not one, not two, but THREE soups: a vegan blackeyed pea-and-collard-greens soup inspired by Lawrence Peters’s recipe from the Soup & Bread Cookbook, a vegetarian minestrone, and chicken with alphabet pasta.

Their collective efforts helped us raise $382 for the Irving Park Community Food Pantry. Thanks, everyone!

And now, on to next week. Stepping up to the soup line:

Village‘s Stephen Ucherek

Nate Lepine, from the Violet Hour

Fork and the Road‘s Sharon Bautista and Dimitra Tasiouras

Teacher Paula Ladin

Dancer/author Maggie Kast

and one more still TBD a return visit from Beth and Jody Osmund, of Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm.

PLUS!  Still another smooth DJ, this week the excellent Ms. Carrie Weston.

See you there!

PS: Big thanks to Jessica Reaves, who came to S&B on the 19th and penned this nice piece about us for the Chicago News Cooperative. ETA: HOLY COW IT IS IN THE EFFING NEW YORK TIMES.

Cauliflower and Watercress Soup

March 15, 2010

From Maggie Kast

Serves 6-8

[Ed: Says Maggie, “This is really a compromise between the classical (French) Potage de la Fontaine Dureau, transmitted by Julia Child, and the vegetable puree soups developed by Cook’s Illustrated. For a large quantity, or if you must hold it, puree all the watercress separately with a cup of cold soup and add to the hot at the last minute, to preserve the color.”]


1 head cauliflower, 1 ½-2 lbs.
1 cup chopped onion, leek or a combination
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
1 cup whole milk or more
¼ cup heavy cream
1 bunch watercress, washed, stems discarded, roughly chopped.
salt and pepper to taste


Break cauliflower into florets and peel central stem, keeping any tender leaves. Melt butter and sweat onion on low flame until soft. Add flour and stir a few minutes until it starts to stick. Add 2 cups water and cook, stirring until it thickens and comes to a boil. Simmer a few minutes. Add cauliflower (not leaves), optional coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 more cups water and cook 20-25 minutes, until cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork. Add leaves and watercress and cook just until greens turn bright. Puree and add milk, using more if needed to obtain desires consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cream and serve.

Bread Sticks

March 15, 2010

From Maggie Kast

Makes 30 breadsticks, or 1 loaf plus 15 long breadsticks

[Ed: I think Maggie used a lot of paprika. These had a serious kick!]


2 pounds bread flour (more if needed)
2 ¾ cups warm water
4 ½ teaspoons yeast
4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
coarse salt
hot smoked paprika (pimenton de la vera, hot)
assorted seeds such as caraway, fennel, and sesame


Sprinkle yeast on water at around 100 degrees F, add sugar and let rest 5 minutes. It should bubble. Then stir to mix. Put flour in large bowl, mix with salt and then add yeast mixture all at once. Fold together with a rubber spatula and turn out on board. Wash the bowl (this interlude allows the flour to absorb the liquid). Knead until shiny, stretchy and not too sticky, adding more flour if needed (but slap it around a bit first, that may be all that’s needed). Let rise until double in bulk, 2-3 hours. Punch down and rise again, 1-2 hours.

To make breadsticks, roll out dough about 1/3 inch thick (or roll out half of dough and form the other half into a loaf). Cut into strips 1/3 inch wide. Grease 2 cookie sheets or use a Silpat. Take each strip and twist one end clockwise and the other counterclockwise. Sprinkle salt and seeds or paprika on a board and roll each stick, thinning it a bit and coating fully. Place on baking sheet. Let rise 20-30 minutes and bake at 350 F, rotating pans, until brown and crisp on the outside but still soft within. For a loaf, let rise until it doubles in bulk and bake at 400 F about 45 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped.

Week 10

March 15, 2010

I’m back! Did you miss me?

I spent a very long weekend covering the big FamilyFarmed Expo for the Reader; if you’re curious you can read about backyard chickens,  shared-use kitchens, and more here. But, as a result, all pending soup coverage had to go on the back burner. (Sorry.)

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a sneaky maneuver on my part to get other people to do the work for me. Soup cook Bonnie Tawse, who brought a terrific vegetarian tortilla soup adapted from Rick Bayless’s Authentic Mexican, has a great wrap-up of the evening over on her blog.

Pictured above are our lovely cooks for the night. From left to right, we’ve got dancer and author Maggie Kast, who wrote  a bit about Soup and Bread over on her own food blog as well. Her cauliflower-watercress soup was great — the coziness of cauliflower nicely cut by the light and fresh ‘cress — and those breadsticks were the bomb.

Next to Maggie is Charlie Hall, who remains a man of mystery, as he arrived with a late-breaking green chile soup and then disappeared before I had a moment to come say thanks. Thanks, Charlie!

Next to Charlie is Bonnie, and in the middle is David Kodeski, who last year whipped up a pair of borschts from some old family recipes, and provided said recipes heavily annotated, in the style of his ‘pa. This year he made a cazuela, a Chilean chicken soup with nine zillion vegetables, served over mashed potato dumplings. Way to slack off, Kodeski.

Danielle Marvit, from Mint Creek Farm, wrote up a little preview of her Soup and Bread plans, and then followed through with a stupendous mutton stew, rich, hearty, and with rosemary just bustin’ out all over.

And, over on the end Susannah Kite Strang offered a little preview of spring, with a vibrant fresh pea soup topped with yogurt. This is the easiest soup ever, she says. If I remember correctly, it’s just peas, cream, and a tiny bit of broth. And maybe some … onion?

In any case, I’ve got recipes for many of these soups in hand already, and should have them up soon, along with those for the olive ciabatta and cornbread Luke Joyner, of stout soup fame, brought in as a last-minute surprise.

Somehow I neglected to let the good people at  Benton House know we were doing this (usually I give the beneficiaries a heads-up) but, through the magic of the internet, they found out anyway. Executive director Mark Lennon and some of the staff came and ate with us, and went home with a tidy $429. Thanks for coming out! Sorry I wasn’t more organized!

This week’s soup donations go to Inspiration Corporation. They will be joining us, along with a very exciting roster of cooks, on Wednesday, March 17, from 5:30 to 8. See you there, yah? No green plastic hats required.

Soup cooks 3/10/10

March 4, 2010

Ooh, next week should be fun. On crock pot duty:

Writer, performer, and borscht master David Kodeski

Bonnie Tawse, director of environmental programs for the Lurie Garden

Author and dancer Maggie Kast

Artist and high school teacher (and dumpling-soup-maker) Susannah Kite Strang

Charlie Hall … who is, so far, a mystery


Mint Creek Farm’s Danielle Marvit, who blogged about her plans for Soup and Bread earlier this week.

Donations generated by this awesomely eclectic bunch of soup cooks go to support the food pantry at Benton House, in Bridgeport. See you next week!