Frequently Asked Questions
I developed the recipes for the book out of my own pocket and traded artwork—the photography, the illustrations, and the poetry—for a membership to the club (for, likely, as long as it exists; I love these artists so much). I had two unpaid interns who tested the recipes. The two outside contractors I used—one to design the bookplate and recipe card, the other to copyedit and double-check the recipes and the pre-press galley copies—I paid out of pocket and have budgeted for reimbursement.Last updated:
This is a serious project of mine, and I want it to have the ability to be viewed as such. In order for me to develop relationships with the retailers I hope feel inspired to carry the book, it needs to be shipped directly from the printer and stored in its warehouse (and not my guest bedroom).Last updated:
The original budget of $47,500 allows 2,000 copies to be printed, stored, and shipped by Hemlock.Last updated:
I am an advance planner in matters of great emotional importance to me, something I refer to as “doing favors for my future self.” (I make birthday cakes, my kids’ Halloween costumes, and design Christmas cards in August.) This book was one of those things and wrung that instinct I have out for all it was worth. I was so grateful to be working with Josh, the photographer of the book, that I wanted to make sure that this project didn’t take away from his livelihood. I vowed to us both that we would get the bulk of the work done that we could during his slow work months, which he told me at the start of the project were during winter. This is the great stroke of luck that meant we finished all of the portraits of my friends with their soup by March, just as coronavirus began to sweep Seattle.
In terms of the club itself, I continued to make soup during the onset of the pandemic. I was very grateful to have the routine, frankly, and access to community. The operation of soup club is isolated by its nature in many aspects: I cook by myself and drop soup on friends’ porches by myself. When local restaurants were completely shut at the very beginning of the pandemic in Seattle, I developed relationships with local vendors (produce from Pike Place Market, bread from a local bakery) to support them. My friends, like me, were grateful for the soup routine and community.
The biggest obstacle that coronavirus created for my soup-making was the disruption to the supply chain I was used to. I wrote a fun piece about it for the Kitchn here: https://www.thekitchn.com/soup-lady-pandemic-23079538Last updated:
This seems like a reasonable thing to ask! SPOILER ALERT: Below are all the titles and descriptions of the soups in the book.
RECIPE TITLES + DESCRIPTIONS
Ribollita: Mine is a straightforward version of the classic Italian peasant soup, including slowly simmered white beans, tomatoes and aromatics in a broth richened by thyme and broccoli rabe.
Tomato and Quinoa Soup: A more nutrient-dense take on tomato and rice soup, with a rich flavor base from roasting and blending carrots and onions first.
Pumpkin-Coconut Soup with Curry Leaves: This soup uses a simple curry method – blending onions, garlic and ginger—as the flavor base along with a homemade curry powder, then stirs in canned pumpkin purée and big chunks of squash. It’s finished with coconut cream.
Egyptian Chickpea and Okra Stew: This stew comes together as a simple, savory bowl of chickpeas and okra that are delicately spiced and warming.
Teddy’s Black Bean Soup: The all-time favorite of Soup Club members, this vegan black bean soup is rich and delicious from less than 10 ingredients; it draws its superpower from the generous amount of olive oil contained in its gravy.
Moroccan Vegetable Stew: Inspired by a tagine, this stew is full of vegetables, chickpeas and flavor, with orange zest, handfuls of fresh herbs, and a homemade harissa paste.
Parsi Squash Stew: This stew features a mix of chickpeas, red lentils and mung beans, along with delicata squash still in their gorgeous skin; it is simple to make and packs in surprising flavors and textures.
White Bean Chili with Tomatillo: This chili starts with a homemade green chili powder that simmers with fresh tomatillos and white beans and is another Soup Club favorite.
Split Pea Soup with Roasted Kale: The smoky flavors of a classic split pea soup are found in a combination of smoked paprika, mustard seed and roasted kale.
Catalan Chickpea Stew with Spinach: This is an adapted recipe from Caroline’s third cookbook, Catalan Food, and a classic peasant dish. This recipe results in a bowl of tender chickpeas and spinach in a thick gravy studded with plump currants.
Kinda Tortilla Soup: This is a black bean tortilla soup that swaps corn for millet, which lends a similar toasted sweetness and texture to the soup. It features a homemade chili powder that offers a complex heat with just a touch of cinnamon.
Thanksgiving Soup: Roasted root vegetables and squash, as promised by the winter holiday for which the soup is named, are simmered with wild rice in a sage-salt and nutmeg-scented broth.
Ethiopian Lentil Soup: Started with a homemade infused coconut oil – Caroline’s take on a nit’r qibe—and finished with a homemade berbere spice mix, with nothing but red lentils, water and a can of tomatoes in between. The resulting soup is deceptively complex and addictive.
Fennel Farinata: This cozy Italian soup, classically thickened with polenta, is updated with fennel in the aromatics, and thickened with ground millet.
Greek Soup Mashup: This soup pulls apart three Greek soups and keeps the best parts for itself: with beans, rice, a handful of dill, and thin tahini-enriched broth.
Hoppin’ John: The classic Southern New Year’s Day tradition is updated for vegan palettes, swapping a ham hock for smoked paprika and chipotle chiles in adobo.
Minestrone Invernale: This minestrone, brimming with hearty winter greens, is flavored with roasted garlic and mustard simmered into the broth.
Jamaican Red Pea + Pumpkin Soup: A homemade jerk paste brings this pumpkin, collard and red bean soup with a rich coconut broth to the Caribbean.
Golden Borscht: Golden beets, Savoy cabbage and white sweet potatoes are slowly simmered in a tangy, caraway-flecked broth to make a delicate borscht.
Cowboy Chili: This chili has a handful of secret (and superfood!) ingredients: brewed chicory (or coffee), molasses and carob powder (or cocoa) in the gravy, and both black and small red beans.
Harira: This classic Moroccan stew is made with chickpeas, French lentils, and brown rice, finished with a tadouira made of chickpea flour, lemon juice and cilantro.
Gumbo Z’Herbes: A dark roux made from chickpea flour begins this green gumbo that’s bursting with okra, mustard greens, spinach, parsley, and homemade Cajun seasoning.
Louisiana Red Bean Soup: Best served over rice, these red beans don’t need Andouille to be bold. This is Caroline’s take on the classic Cajun dish.
Nearly Retro Cabbage Soup: The classic cabbage soup of fad diet fame gets funky and chunky: large pieces of coconut-seared cabbage simmer alongside halved Brussels sprouts, tender carrot chunks, butter beans and fire-roasted tomatoes, then finished with a dash of coconut aminos for good measure.
Creamy West African Vegetable Stew: Senegalese Peanut Stew gets a nut-free makeover, with sweet potatoes sized to sink your spoon into alongside collard greens and green beans in a creamy sunflower-seed-butter broth.
Persian Vegetable and Noodle Soup: Also known as Ash Reshteh, this verdant soup builds a broth full of herbs and a touch of turmeric, and combines it with noodles, white beans and lentils.
Mexican Butter Bean Soup: A simple stew of butter beans simmered in a sofrito-tomato sauce with a generous spoonful of saffron.
Cream of Mushroom Soup: The classic soup of Campbell’s fame is taken to a new (vegan, healthful) level with a variety of mushrooms and a broth thickened by blended, charred oats and tahini.
Broccoli and Rice Soup: This soup steals best parts of a Midwestern casserole without the cheese: chopped broccoli stems (that some call “rice”) are simmered with brown rice, baby broccoli, toasted ground mung beans and herbs.
Portuguese Pea Stew: Roasted red bell peppers and a cinnamon stick flavor the broth as split peas break down into a warm, thick gravy; frozen peas are stirred into the soup to finish it, along with lemon juice.
Peas n’ Carrots Soup: Reinventing this classic freezer pair by roasting snap peas and carrot coins with ground sumac, then adding them to a gingery broth with chickpeas and fire-roasted tomatoes.
Seattle Springtime Lentil Soup: Black lentils are gently cooked with nigella seeds in a sweet broth flavored with puréed roasted scallions, carrots and cherry tomatoes; spicy and tender baby arugula is stirred in to wilt at the end of cooking.
Asparagus, Dill + Lemon Soup: A delicate soup that celebrates the freshness of spring, this brothy soup begins with leeks and mirepoix, adds in cabbage, turnips and sweet sorghum, then drops in asparagus and a handful of dill nearing the end to remain crisp and fresh.
Spring Minestrone: Featuring ramps, radishes (and their greens), Meyer lemons, and dandelion greens, this soup is worth a trip to the market.
Alabama Summer Garden Soup: This soup features a light broth from the flesh of coarsely grated tomato, and is brimming with the best of summer produce, pigeon peas, and okra. In a true Southern fashion, it is finished with a splash of Tabasco.
Farmer’s Market Pistou: This Provençal vegetable soup has a few twists that make it different as well as delicious: it uses a half bunch of carrots and their greens, puréed heirloom tomatoes for the broth, broken lasagna noodles, patty pan squash and a homemade vegan pesto made with pumpkin seeds.Last updated:
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