Posts Tagged ‘mana food bar’

Summer soup: It’s a hit

July 7, 2011

Last night’s Summer Soup & Bread Spectacular was just that. Spectacular weather, spectacular turnout, spectacular, delicious, colorful, cold soups.

Thanks so very much to Nightwood, City Provisions, Big Star, Swim Cafe, Milk & Honey, Celestial Kitchens, Tre Kronor, Mana Food Bar, Guerrilla Smiles Catering, Inspiration Kitchens, Graham Elliot, and the lovely Anastasia for all their contributions. Thanks as well to Bonnie Tawse, Sheila Sachs, Laura Park, and Sarah Dandelles for doing ladle duty. And to Michael Slaboch for DJing (and soup wrangling). And to La Farine for so much delicious bread.

And of course, many, many thanks to all who came out to show their support. We shattered all previous S&B fundraising records last night, generating a whopping $2684 on behalf of the Garfield Park Conservatory. That won’t buy them a new roof, but it might buy a couple panes of glass, right? At least a half-dozen Conservatory staff were in attendance and they were very grateful for such a joyful end to what has been just an all-around terrible week.



Green Curry Butternut Squash Soup

January 22, 2011

From Jill Barron/Mana Food Bar

Serves 8

This soup was a total surprise, both in the bowl and in the mouth. Right off the bat, the color is disconcerting – you read “squash” on a label and the last thing you expect is something a pale pea green. But, there it was. Then,  the unassuming color sets you up to expect something mild. Which it’s not, at all – the spice sneaks up on you, but once it’s announced itself it is a potent blend of flavor. And very delicious.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 large butternut squash, seeded and roasted
1 quart vegetable stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Green Curry
1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped
1 Serrano chili
1 shallot
5 cloves garlic
2” ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped – stems ok
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 can coconut milk.

Puree together in blender till super smooth.


In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until soft and fragrant. Scoop out squash and add to pot, along with stock, sugar, and salt. Cook until soft, then add 1 cup green curry. Puree with immersion blender and serve, garnished with a lime wedge.

Soup cooks, Jan. 19

January 14, 2011

Technical difficulties (#$@$!% camera) have prevented the timely posting of tales from this week’s Soup & Bread, but trust me, it was great. Busy but not mobbed, delicious soups, nice people, only minor reheating issues … the usu. And the sweet bonus of $420 raised for Ravenswood Community Services. We will hopefully have recipes — and photos — for you soon.

In the meantime, let’s look to the future. Cooking next week we’ve got:

Luthier and Tangleweed bassist Paul Wargaski, who last year made an amazingly delicate and pretty Matzo Ball with Braised Fennel soup.

Mana Food Bar chef Jill Barron, who promises Green Curried Butternut Squash soup.

Her Division Street neighbor Carol Watson, proprietor of Milk & Honey, who was saying something about potatoes, roasted garlic, and leeks.

Sarah Dandelles — dog lover, bike and parks advocate, music maven, art teacher, and director of dance/movement education at the Old Town School — who is fine-tuning something vegan and gluten free.

Sound Opinions producer Robin Linn, whose 40 Watt Garlic Soup was one of my favorite surprises last year. Wards off both vampires and the common cold.

And, this just in, a return visit from Bloodshot Records‘ chief executive sausage-maker Rob Miller, toting a pot of Venison Chili.

I also believe that next week we’ll be reaping the bounty of the first homework assignments in Chef Jeanne Kraus’s baking class at the Illinois Institute of Art Culinary School, to supplement the bread contributed by the generous bakers at La Farine.

All donations raised on the 19th go to the Irving Park Community Food Pantry.

And, that’s it. Short and sweet. See you next week!

ETA: Forgot to mention the other bonus next week — DJ Peter Margasak. Thanks P!

Soup cooks 1/27/10

January 22, 2010

Oh my, we have another exciting line-up on deck for next for next week.

Our soup cooks, in no particular order:

Writer and photographer Jen Mayer, of the blog 24 Boxes

Tangleweed bass player and luthier Paul Wargaski

Lyric Opera manager of media relations Magda Krance

Mana Food Bar chef Jill Barron

Freelance writer Kimberly Bellware

… and me, hopefully, doing something with all those red onions from Green Earth Institute.

Money raised at this week’s Soup and Bread will be donated to the Humboldt Park Social Services Food Pantry.

That’s Wednesday, January 27, from 5:30 to 8 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia in Chicago. Seeya.

Indian-style yellow split-pea soup (vegan)

March 6, 2009


From Jill Barron

1 lb dried yellow split peas, washed
2 spanish onions, diced
7 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1lb ginger root, peeled and chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 head of celery, shredded
1 qt vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon cumin, ground
1 T coriander, ground
1 T black pepper, ground
1/4 c olive oil

In a thick bottomed pan, cook onions in olive oil till soft, add ginger and garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook till fragrant; add cumin, coriander, and black pepper and cook 1 minute. Add split peas and stock. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly as the peas tend to settle in bottom of pan and stick. When boiling, turn to simmer. cook till soft, then add salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro relish.

1 (inch?) ginger, peeled and chopped fine
5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped fine
juice of 1 lime
olive oil to moisten
mix all together, add salt to taste. 

Turning up the heat

March 6, 2009


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