Posts Tagged ‘Rob Miller’

Night of the Ashen Soup

March 10, 2011

Last night’s fantastic Soup & Bread was a night of uncommon synchronicity: Of our five soup cooks, FOUR turned up toting pots of something pureed and pale. “Didn’t it say that in the memo?” quipped Stephanie Izard. “That it had to be beige?”

We had spicy “caulichowder” with bacon from Jason and Danielle Bitner; avoglemono from Helen Tsatsos; creamy root vegetable (dressed with candied pecans) from Jenny and Nancy Hines; and parsnip-pear-pistachio soup — dressed with romesco sauce and preserved lemons,  from the team of Izard and Heather Shouse.

Oh yeah – did I mention STEPHANIE IZARD made soup this week? She was supercharming, gracious to all the swooning fans, and the soup was deeelicious. She and Heather – who coauthored the forthcoming “Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Eats, and Shops” — promise to get me the recipe soon.

And, oh yes! —  bucking the trend, Mike McDermott , coowner of Smoque BBQ, turned out a dark, decidedly non-beige, and allegedly devastating brisket chili. Thanks so much to all!

It was Ash Wednesday, but DJ Rob Miller did not heed my request for “songs of repentance and deprivation” — instead he kept the bowls spinning with a set of soup-friendly tunes of indulgence and sin. Hopefully  that won’t put off the folks at the First Presbyterian Church food pantry, on whose behalf we raised a whopping $552. And by “we” I really mean “you” — all of you who came, ate, and donated. Thanks so much to all!

And watch this space for next week’s lineup, coming soon.

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Soup cooks 3/9

March 4, 2011

We had a banner week this week — so many fantastic soups; so many hungry people. And so many babies. Where did all those babies come from? (Wait, don’t answer that.)

Recipes are trickling in for David Kodeski’s dreamy congee, Kitty Tataryn’s roasted red pepper, and other soups of the day. Will have those posted soon. I should also give a quick shout out to both La Farine, which piled my Jeep so full of bread it smelled like a bakery at 5 am, and to Anne  from Crumb, who brought a half-dozen whole wheat boules and some amazing spicy cheddar bread. We also raised a cool $575 for the good folks at Benton House, in Bridgeport. It was great to see how they rallied their people to come out and show their support. Come back soon, y’all.

NOW, on to next week. It’s a doozy.

Stepping up to the trusty crocks we have:

Jason and Danielle Bitner, founders of The Betterment Society and proud parents of adorable Hollis, pictured above

The lovely and talented Helen Tsastos (Rock Candy by Helen), who promises her yiaya’s avoglemono

Our friends at Smoque BBQ, with chili

Bitchin’ babysitter Jenny Hines, teaming up with HER MOM, Nancy, for something vegetarian.

Time Out Chicago senior food and drink correspondent Heather Shouse, whose book Food Trucks comes out next month

and America’s sweetheart, Top Chef Stephanie Izard, the Girl behind The Girl & the Goat, where I’m still trying to get a reservation

All that, plus more soup from our friends at Hull-House, bread from La Farine, and the musical stylings of DJ Rob Miller. All proceeds benefit the food pantry at Woodlawn’s historic First Presbyterian Church.

See you there!

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.

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!

Spinach and Rice Soup

February 12, 2010

From Rob Miller/Bloodshot Records

Makes about a half-gallon

[Ed: This rich, creamy soup is deceptively simple and eminently satisfying. It can be, says Rob, “As zesty as you want to make it [and is] an excellent soup to make the day before serving. Call it ‘Zuppa di Spinaci e Risotto’ if you’re looking to impress your friends or make it sound fancier.”]

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds of fresh spinach, thoroughly rinsed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (normal human) thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 fresh cayenne peppers (If you like it milder use just one, if’n you like it SPICY use Thai bird’s eye peppers.), finely chopped. Use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Trust me—learn from my mistakes.
1 red pepper, cored, chopped and thinly sliced
1/2 cup + arborio (risotto) rice
5 cups chicken or turkey stock (can substitute vegetable stock, if so inclined)
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Preparation

Wilt the spinach in a large pot with a pinch of some sea salt. Drain well and SAVE THE LIQUID!

Chop the spinach finely until it is kind of a coarse puree. (Don’t worry, it’ll taste better than it looks at this point.)

Heat the oil in the pot using medium/low heat. Add the ginger, cayenne peppers, and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until odors are released. Add the rice and coat thoroughly.

Add the stock and saved spinach water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes.

Add the spinach, red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste; stir. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes more, until the rice is tender.

Serve with grated Pecorino on top.

Soup and Bread Marathon, 2/3-2/4/10: Part 1

February 9, 2010

Sheila moving merch

I pulled up at Sheila’s around 2 last Wednesday, and after she let me in we just looked at each other and sucked in a shared deep breath.

“You realize our trip starts now,” I said.

Sheila: “Oh, totes.”

The jeep was already awash with the toasty aroma of fresh-baked bread; a trio of technicolor tarts from Rae balanced on the back seat. On top of that we packed in a new batch of Soup and Bread aprons, stacks of signed prints from Paul, Soup and Bread cards, a shoe box full of miscellany, a pile of spanking clean tablecloths, and our own anxious asses.

Off to the Hideout!

Tart!

That night’s Soup and Bread was a joy. For one, we had a ridiculous surfeit of bread, thanks to the combined generosity of bakers at La Farine, Crumb, and the Illinois Institute of Art culinary school. We also had not one but two people keeping things humming in the back room – and I can’t thank Celeste* and Devon enough for their calm organizational genius. And, of course, we had seven ace soup makers, all of whom who all brought their A-game.

In the crocks:

L-R: Andrea, Cleetus, Lorna

Savory — but light! —  lamb-black bean chili from Forkable‘s Andrea Newberry.

Smoky red lentil soup served with dukkah, an Egyptian blend of nuts and spices, from the Kitchn contributor and My Vegetable Blog proprietress Joanna Miller.

A complex and piquant chipotle and cumin black bean soup from Gemma Petrie, the Pro Bono Baker.

A simple but exceedingly flavorful yellow winter vegetable soup from former Vella Cafe co-owner Melissa Yen (although, wait, do Granny Smiths count as a winter veg?).

Rich cream of mushroom soup with leeks and pancetta from the City Provisions team of Cleetus Friedman and Lorna Juett.

Blurry Kent (L) and Rob (R)

A vibrant potato-butternut-leek soup from Roommate impresario Kent Lambert.

Creamy and satisfying zuppa di spinaci e risotto (or, yes, “spinach and rice soup”) with Pecorino and/or Parmesan from Bloodshot Records co-owner Rob Miller.

Donations from this week – a tidy $393 – go to the Franciscan Outreach Association in Wicker Park. And, best of all, this week has been so crazy backwards that almost all the recipes are already up on the blog.

Postsoup cocktails lasted just long enough for me to get anxious about my empty suitcase. I don’t know when everybody else went home, but I was in bed at the almost-vaguely-reasonable hour of 1 AM.

Less than 24 hours later I was scrubbing pots surrounded by nearly naked strippers.

Coming up next: Brooklyn!

* Speaking of Celeste, she’ll be selling tasty pastries and other sweets — as well as Soup & Bread Cookbooks — this Saturday at the free Wine + Sweets + Love tasting at Juicy Wine Co., at 694 N. Milwaukee. It’s from noon to 4 PM. Linzer cookies! Mini chocolate cream pies! Hand-rolled truffles! What more could you want? Other than, you know, free wine?

Soup cooks 2/3/10

January 30, 2010

Bloggers descend on Soup and Bread next week. Stepping up to the crock pots:

Andrea Newberry, of Forkable

Pro Bono Baker Gemma Petrie

Joanna Miller, of My Vegetable Blog (and, also, coordinator of that smash bake sale for Haiti last week)

Along with:

Roommate‘s Kent Lambert

Former Vella Cafe co-owner Melissa Yen — who now has, natch, a blog

Bloodshot Records chief soup officer Rob Miller

and Cleetus Friedman, the brains behind City Provisions.

Feel. The. Power.

Donations from this week’s soup benefit Franciscan Outreach, in Wicker Park. Come out, won’t you?