Posts Tagged ‘Shana Pearlmutter’

New year, new soups

January 8, 2010

I was worried. I confess. Will it snow? Will a gas main break? Will people get sick of soup and move on to something else? Waffles, perhaps?

I should just chill. Soup and Bread, season two, kicked off Wednesday evening with gusto, with more cooks on board, and a really nice turnout of both old friends and new faces. Above, Rae Hill digs into a bowl of simple fish soup, which I made from a recipe provided by Kickstarter donor (and my uncle) Roger Simon, whose donation to our cookbook project ensures him a place in the annals of 2010 soup history.

Rae herself, who’s both a second-year culinary student and the resident baker at Bite Cafe, produced a pot of blazing orange sweet potato soup, which tasted amazing … like a sweet potato pie run through a blender with cream and chicken stock. She also brought several warm loaves of  sweetly mild milk bread, which were a particular hit with the more junior attendees. (She made it last  year as well; the recipe’s on page 116 of the book.) And, if that wasn’t enough, she produced a loaf (or two?) of vegan bread … the ingredients for which I promptly forgot even as I was telling myself, “You should really write this down.” She’s developing new vegan bread recipes for work, and plans to test-drive them with us over the next few months, so be sure and let her know what you think. Next week, she may even have comment cards.

Here’s a wide view of what we had on offer. Over on the far end is Rae’s sweet potato concoction; next to it is “La Zahra’s Moroccan Harira Hemda,” which Shana Pearlmutter cooked up in collaboration with her mother-in-law, who recently moved here from Morocco to help care for the newest member of their family, baby Brahim. Here’s a photo. Aren’t they cute?

Next to Shana and La Zahra’s soup is a piquant vegan sweet-and-sour meatball soup from Swim Cafe. Yes, vegan meatballs. Haven’t you ever heard of seitan? And to the right of that is Zach Kaplan‘s winter minestrone, a tasty offering built on a base of pancetta stock and chock full of hearty beans and pasta. Last but so totally not least is Celeste Dolan‘s Thai eggplant and chicken soup, which was allegedly delicious but gone before I got my bowl out. Lucky for me (and you), Celeste wins the promptness prize and I should be posting the recipe shortly the recipe is posted here. She and her partner Devon also turned up with bread whipped up not by the professional baker, but by baking novice Devon — including a caramelized onion bread for which I am rabidly tracking down the recipe, the recipe for which can be found here.  It’s made by kneading onion marmalade (!) into the dough just before baking.

These two also brought cupcakes, modeled below by Sheila and young Henry Hinschliff.

Most importantly, we raised $252 in donations for the food pantry at St. John Berchman’s in Logan Square. Just as a reminder, this year we are aiming to give Soup and Bread monies directly to neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens; if you know of a worthy organization, please drop me a line and I’ll get them on the list.

Recipes and next week’s schedule coming soon. In the meantime, a few random remaining photos:

Vera snags a cupcake.

Blurry Celeste models her limited-edition S&B apron.

Beckett performs clam puppet theater.

The littlest soup fans ever pose for the camera.

And I try, in vain, not to freak out.

See you next week!


Soup Night 2010: It Begins

December 30, 2009

Really? It’s (almost) January already?


Thankfully, we’ve got an exciting line-up of all-stars and newbies alike on deck for the first Soup and Bread of the New Year. Coming to a crock pot near you, next Wednesday, January 6:

Our vegetarian friends at Swim Cafe

Celeste Dolan, of the terrific Celestial Kitchens

Artist and educator Shana Pearlmutter (with, I believe, help from her Moroccan mother-in-law, of whose cooking I have heard nothing but rave reviews)

Los Angeles transplant Zachary Kaplan, whom our mutual friend Aandrea has been telling me to get to know for months, but I’m apparently so self-centered I have to rope him into my project to make it actually happen.

Baker, culinary student, and new Soup and Bread partner Rae Hill (more on this soon)

And … me, cooking on behalf of awesome Kickstarter donor Roger Simon, from a recipe he’s providing.

Please note we have a NEW START TIME of 5:30 PM — giving us a little more time to set up and those of you with jobs (jobs? what are those?) a little more time to get to the Hideout. Other than that, tho, it’s the same as it ever was: Hot soup, tasty bread, and a chance to shake off your Seasonal Affective Disorder for an hour or two in the company of some lovely people — and raise money for a good cause to boot.

This year we’re targeting neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens as recipients of your generous donations. All the money raised this first week goes to the St. John Berchmans Food Pantry in Logan Square. If you know of a food pantry or other provider of emergency food assistance in need (and, aren’t they all?), please let me know (soupnbread10 [at] gmail [dot] com) and I’ll get them in the rotation.

Thanks — and see you next Wednesday at the Hideout.