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The Great Soup Exchange of 2010, dr.com Style


GennaroE
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At some point during my hours of crafting chicken noodle soup over the past few days, between straining stock and discussing the process with leleboo, a thought struck me: I really like soup...why not see what other kinds people can cook up?

And so the notion of a soup exchange was born. Leleboo provided the title, and she's offering to host it. Friday, January 22nd is the date.

Here's the idea: whoever wants to take part signs up to cover a subset of soup, and then makes whatever soup they'd like that falls into this category. We gather at leleboo's place, and have a multicourse meal of soups and maybe some small accompaniments, depending on what's appropriate for the soups being served. The idea would be to have no two soups that are too similar, and hopefully to cover a broad spectrum of flavors, textures, ethnicities, and so on.

Some of the categories that sprung to mind...

Noodle Soup

Chowder

Stew

Bisque

Consommé

Purée/Velouté

Chilled Soup

Obviously, some categories have way more variety than others and could be taken on by multiple people - for example, "stew" could reasonably encompass a number of drastically different dishes, from a fish stew like Bouillabaisse or Cioppino, to Gumbo, to a beef stew. So, there's wiggle room, and more than one person may be able to pick certain categories. We've got plenty of time to decide who'll do what, so feel free to start posting ideas.

Given the way this will work (everyone who takes part will have to cook enough food for all the others), and the number of people who can be seated comfortably, the cap for this event will have to be 10.

Lastly, I claim Chicken Noodle Soup.

Attendance List (Full)

Gennaro -- Chicken Noodle Soup (Noodle Soups)

Leleboo -- Butternut Squash with Sage Soup (Purée/Velouté)

DanielK -- Oxtail Stew (Meat Stew)

Goodeats - Winter Melon with Pork Soup (Clear Soup - Chinese)

Xochitl10 - Ozouni with Meat and Salmon Roe (Clear Soup - Japanese)

Zirkminsky - Roasted Tomato Bisque with Herb Toasts and Mussels (Seafood Bisque)

KMango - Batting Cleanup (Something We Don't Have)

Marketfan - Chilled Beet Soup? (Cold Soup)

Hillvalley - Bread, Cheese, Etc. (Accoutrement Duty)

All right guys, sorry to those who may still be tempted by the allure of so many soups in on place, on one day, but we've reached our cap (between people providing food and +1s). However, there is a wait list that a maximum of 5 people can sign up for. If somebody suddenly has to back out, you'll be asked to swoop in with the soup you've offered to make (hopefully with enough notice to actually cook it).

Wait List (Max 5)

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All -- I'll post more about logistics closer to the date, but I'm already getting excited for the soup swap!

How does Chinese soups fit in? I would like to sign up, but my soup knowledge doesn't exactly fit into any of those categories (although I am just getting into the purees and stews).

goodeats -- it might cross categories, but I would think that's fine, as long as it's not too similar to something already on the list. But, for example, I would think a Chinese chicken noodle soup might hit a lot of different flavors than GennaroE's, so it could be interested to taste side-by-side!

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goodeats -- it might cross categories, but I would think that's fine, as long as it's not too similar to something already on the list. But, for example, I would think a Chinese chicken noodle soup might hit a lot of different flavors than GennaroE's, so it could be interested to taste side-by-side!

I was thinking either wintermelon soup (with pork) or another comforting pork-based soup....

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How does Chinese soups fit in? I would like to sign up, but my soup knowledge doesn't exactly fit into any of those categories (although I am just getting into the purees and stews).

Depends on the soup, of course. But leleboo is right - I'm sure whatever you'd bring is different enough that it'd be more than worth having.

I was thinking either wintermelon soup (with pork) or another comforting pork-based soup....

Sounds good to me. Wikipedia describes it has having a chicken stock base, with vegetables (including the melon), and meat. Is that right? Wikipedia also has it classified as a savory "Fruit Soup," so we can go with that. I'll list that soup for now, and if you decide to do a different pork soup instead (pig is always welcome), just let me know.

I'm in. I'll bring a traditional New Year's soup from the region of Japan we lived in. Involves meat and salmon roe.

Is this Zoni? Looking forward to it, whatever the name is.

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An aside: we're going to need lots of bowls.

And, if nobody claims Onion Soup, I intend to do mini ramekins of it as an amuse-bouche. I think that would be pretty BA.

I'm on the logistics -- don't worry. (Seriously, you know me and organizing logistics!) I think we may have to use (eco-friendly) disposables, unless people really want to truck a ton of bowls and spoons over.

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A great idea! Nice to see people stepping up and coming up with some innovative events. I'd love to attend and contribute but we'll be on our way back from vacation on the 22nd. I hope this goes well, and is something we can build on in the future. It sounds like it'll be incredible fun.

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I love this idea. I'd like to participate and bring Roasted Tomato Bisque with Herb Toasts. I'm considering adding mussels and would be open to making this non-vegan by adding mussels or some other shellfish.

I'm all for shellfish of any sort. If I have to choose between eating shellfish in that soup and currying favor with vegans, I'd go with the former.

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Is this Zoni? Looking forward to it, whatever the name is.

Yup, Iwate, or possibly just Kitakami, style ozouni. Clear base with chicken, daikon, carrot, salmon roe, mochi, and Japanese parsley. I could probably be talked into bringing some sake, too.

I'm really looking forward to this! :angry:

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I'm all for shellfish of any sort. If I have to choose between eating shellfish in that soup and currying favor with vegans, I'd go with the former.

I don't think we have a lot of (any?) professed vegetarians, much less vegans, participating yet.

Also, I read that as "currying flavor with vegans" ... That sounds like a cooking class if I ever heard one!

(Cue Homer Simpsons: "Mmmm...curried vegans...")

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I am also in...... but not quite decided yet on which soup. (My default will be a chilled beet soup)

I think a chilled vegetable soup, to contrast with the warm squash soup, might be right on the money in terms of contrasts that Gennaro was excited about.

(Plus I love beets.)

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[ Hey all -- Just a quick note to say that we're already up to about 9, which is getting close to our limit. If anyone who has already posted was planning to include a +1, please post (or PM me and GennaroE) as soon as possible so we know! :angry: ]

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[ Hey all -- Just a quick note to say that we're already up to about 9, which is getting close to our limit. If anyone who has already posted was planning to include a +1, please post (or PM me and GennaroE) as soon as possible so we know! :angry: ]

I wish I could join you, but please allow me to opine. My first choice for soup at any time of day or year is Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup with rivels. It's almost the perfect food. My second choice is always going to be my mother's Syrian lentil-spinach-cracked wheat balls soup, which is a vegan delight.

There, I had my say....

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My first choice for soup at any time of day or year is Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup with rivels. It's almost the perfect food.

That sounds super awesome....

So, we're at our cap, and that means our soup line-up is almost finalized (save for those wild cards amongst us). The only way somebody else could possibly get in would be to make either a chowder or a cheese soup -- they would then become my new best friend, and I'd have to let them join. Seriously though, I was expecting at least one soup to be totally cream or cheese laden, and instead all these creative things I'd never even heard of cropped up.

I'm really looking forward to this event, and over the next few days we'll iron out the logistics of soup transport, storage, heating, and eating. Anybody with suggestions on how they imagine this whole thing working should feel free to post here or shoot me and leleboo a PM.

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we'll iron out the logistics of soup transport, storage, heating, and eating.

Just to follow up ... I've already been thinking over a couple of different systems that will work for heating and serving that work with the equipment I've got (stove, oven, fridge -- the basics, y'know) -- thanks, hillvalley, for some excellent ideas on the process!

If you will need [a] prep space/time and/or nonconventional kitchen equipment that you are not yourself bringing, please let me know sooner rather than later, so we can determine if I have it, or if we need to track it down. :angry:

Wine and/or beer pairings with your soup might be fun. Not that everyone needs to bring enough to serve 10 people, as that can get outrageously expensive! But if you have something you think would be excellent with your contribution, please bring it and we can have a wee bit.

I'll provide other beverages and the tableware, so if you'd like to chip in a couple bucks to cover the paper goods, that'd be sweet.

I will also PM the final list my address and contact info nearer to the event, so you have it handy.

Mmmm...soup....

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I've added a wait list for any 5 people who are craving soup and willing to wait in the wings, ready to cook up a pot of deliciousness at a moment's notice. If you want to be added to it, just provide the same info that everyone else has.

My fellow rockwellians! Alas I must regretfully withdraw my tomato bisque moule soup with herb toast from the Great Soup Exchange of 2010. I have recently contracted a nasty bugger that has taken a lot out of my otherwise happy, healthy disposition and left me weak and dispirited (I'm sick with a nasty virus). So have fun, and I can't wait to read about how it went. And maybe even get some of the recipes???

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My fellow rockwellians! Alas I must regretfully withdraw my tomato bisque moule soup with herb toast from the Great Soup Exchange of 2010. I have recently contracted a nasty bugger that has taken a lot out of my otherwise happy, healthy disposition and left me weak and dispirited (I'm sick with a nasty virus). So have fun, and I can't wait to read about how it went. And maybe even get some of the recipes???

Recipe sharing is my bag!

Zirk, I hope you feel better. I'm kinda jonesing for some tomato bisque with moules at a later date, though! :angry:

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Lelebooo, may I add my husband to the exchange since we are now minus one? And my cold beet soup is served in water glasses rather than in soup bowls? Do you have enough?

The plus-one is in, and I have many many many water glasses, although we'll end up with 6 of medium size and 4 of large (matching "bistro" style or whatever it was I got as a wedding gift). Hope that works!

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My fellow rockwellians! Alas I must regretfully withdraw my tomato bisque moule soup with herb toast from the Great Soup Exchange of 2010. I have recently contracted a nasty bugger that has taken a lot out of my otherwise happy, healthy disposition and left me weak and dispirited (I'm sick with a nasty virus). So have fun, and I can't wait to read about how it went. And maybe even get some of the recipes???

I too lament the loss of the bisque. Oh... and I'm also sorry that you're feeling sick, Zirkminsky. Hope you (and your dish) make an appearance at another event.

As I type, my chicken stock is slowly taking shape. Tomorrow it will be the beef stock's turn. Feel free to post about your soup progress people, I'm curious about the processes by which these (hopeful) masterworks are wrought.

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With 10 soups to try, I think everyone should bring their own bowls, demitasses, or coffee cups to have them in. You're going to want to cross-taste them.

We have fifty eco-friendly recyclable bowls (or was it 100, KMango). Not china, but it's something.

Although if people don't mind mis-matched stuff, I have enough little bowls, cups, demi-tasses, etc for everyone. And I have the ramekins for Gennaro's onion soup! :angry:

ETA: We just lost another one. Any last-minute soup makers? We have one more spot!

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Like leleboo said, we've now got another spot open. Who will step forth and fill the void left by our lack of bisque and Japanese New Year's soups?

Attendance List

Gennaro -- Chicken Noodle Soup (Noodle Soups) + Amuse (French Onion Soup)

Leleboo -- Butternut Squash with Sage Soup (Purée/Velouté)

DanielK -- Oxtail Stew (Meat Stew)

Goodeats - Winter Melon with Pork Soup (Clear Soup - Chinese)

KMango - Batting Cleanup (Dessert Soup)

Marketfan - Chilled Beet Soup (Cold Soup)

Hillvalley - Bread, Cheese, Etc. (Accoutrement Duty)

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I too lament the loss of the bisque. Oh... and I'm also sorry that you're feeling sick, Zirkminsky. Hope you (and your dish) make an appearance at another event.

As I type, my chicken stock is slowly taking shape. Tomorrow it will be the beef stock's turn. Feel free to post about your soup progress people, I'm curious about the processes by which these (hopeful) masterworks are wrought.

going out to buy my beets. I will be very curious to see how long these beets take to soften to a puree-able stage. When I buy beets from the producers at the summer markets, the beets cook very quickly, but the beets I bought from producers in France took HOURS.

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A pot of chicken stock in the refrigerator, a pile of beef and veal bones waiting for their chance to shine later tonight...I foresee late night cooking in my future.

A disappointing revelation (that I should have come to much sooner): my mini refrigerator does not fit two pots of soup. So I'll be picking up a cooler and some ice to hold the second pot until it's time to bring it to the rendezvous point (had to use the word: it makes this exchange sound even more BA, and it matches the ethnicity of the soup).

Tonight I'll also be stopping by Calvert Woodley Liquors to buy Gruyere and to pick up the beer I'm pairing with my onion soup. Pretty sure I'll be going for one of my favorites, Ommegang's Abbey Ale, a Belgian dubbel. The Chicken Soup will be allowed to stand on its own, for fear of being eclipsed by the flavor of drink.

Has anybody else thought out their drink pairings yet? They have the potential to add yet another layer of creativity to this crazy event.

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My house smells really, really good right now.

As does my dorm kitchen. Beef stock simmering on the stove, onions beginning a super, crazy slow cooking process.

It's funny how I always wind up staying awake until the middle of the night in order to finish whatever recipe I take on for dr.com events. But late night cooking is fun.

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I think you guys will have an awesome soupfest tomorrow. I'll be w/ you in spirit, but the social schedules of teen & preteen children are ruling my life right now-if I was there, I'd bring 'Drunken Shrimp Creole' from "The Surreal Gourmet Entertains"-I've made this a couple of times & it's got a sneaky heat that grows on you-if you have plenty of white rice, cornbread, & beer, it evens out....eat lots of soup & tell us how it goes!

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I am so full of awesome soup.

Thanks to GennaroE, KMango, goodeats, DanielK, marketfan, and ol_ironstomach. Tonight was awesome. I have pictures; I just have to figure out how to do that cool slideshow upload that Gennaro always does. And now is not the time.

(So full of soup!)

Yum. G'night.

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Like leleboo said, thanks to all who came and made this event so much fun. Great food, drink, and conversation, and not a thing to complain about (except maybe my desire to eat about 30 more of goodeats' wontons).

Looking forward to more events like this one.

Time to collapse.

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Soup may be filling. But The Great Soup Exchange of 2010 was fulfilling.

No flagging down a waiter to replenish an empty water glass. No lamenting loss of tranquility when that boisterous group availed themselves of the adjacent table.

Instead, the evening provided a colorful and bountiful parade of hand-tendered signature soups. Paired with conversation, we feasted like kings, and left nourished in more ways than one.

GennaroE: The French onion soup knocked my socks off. But when paired with the beer, I think my feet fell off, too. I know you probably won’t believe us all, but it was seriously the perfect pairing. And I do hope we saved some of the bring-your-manna-back-up-to-100 chicken noodle soup for hillvalley! I know we meant to, but may have forgotten in our brothy comas.

Marketfan: I had no idea beet gazpacho (clever re-branding!) could be so visually stunning. And the flavors, brilliant and keenly memorable. Each spicy kick a tease for the cooling bite to follow, waves of violet intrigue. A stunner of a soup, thank you for that intensely delicious and interesting experience.

Goodeats: Those lamb wontons must become obligatory starters for all future gatherings! And the rice cakes such a joy. Your winter melon soup and the richly flavored pork stock are still on my mind this morning. I have my fingers crossed a recipe is forthcoming so I can replicate it in the very near future.

Leleboo: How did you get so much interesting flavor into such a healthful and satisfying squash soup? The fried sage provided the perfect accent of bright awesome. I also should have alerted FEMA on the way out the door that we left your home a disaster area. Bless you (again and again) for hosting and for what must have been a heck of a time restoring order to your kitchen.

DanielK: Smart, smart, smart to insist the oxtail soup arrive last in the series. I doubt I have ever encountered a better version of this dish. Masterful, outrageously rich and interesting, and when paired with the wine, a castle-worthy peasant feast.

ol_ironstomach: So glad you could join the event. What a whirlwind of a day you had! Hats off for the bread, wine (especially the cava), and not laughing too hard at the final course.

As anchorperson, the technique for the dessert soup is pasted below. I knew the evening would feature a parade of richly diverse soups. So my intended concept was Saturday morning cartoon breakfast cereal meets hints of grandma’s rice pudding married with a smoky/salted accent nostalgia for something not quite remembered. That intention hit the schizophrenic mark, and was texturally interesting, but flavor development could use more work. Next time, I will take more care with rounding out the almond milk base, ensuring it has more depth. Also, I would choose a more complementing sherry, one with more overt date or almond or whisper smoke notes.

The Great Soup Exchange of 2010 lived up to it's name, and then some. Engaging conversation, outstanding flavors, and hopefully a harbinger of more sharing events to come.

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Great Soup Exchange Dessert Soup

Makes 9 or 10 servings, with some apples and dates leftover.

Almond Milk Base (mix 8 cups chilled almond milk with one vanilla bean, 4 tablespoons maple syrup or more to taste, and several shakes of of pimentón)

12 Dates (chop, these become the bottom “layer” of the soup)

2 or 3 Locally Grown Apples (mince these, mix with finely ground cinnamon and a touch of finely ground coffee; if chopped ahead of time, make sure to add a splash of lemon juice to prevent apple discoloration)

1/4 pound or more Raw, Sliced Almonds (ahead of time, sauté these with butter and a liberal dose of Penzey’s 4S Smoky Salt until the almonds are well-toasted)

Pimentón (final garnish)

Place the chopped dates and apples into the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the very chilled almond milk base over each serving. Sprinkle the almonds liberally on top. Garnish with an additional shake of pimentón. Serve with a complementing sherry.

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