Soup Swap!

Soup Swap Long Beach is hosting a swap on January 22nd at Bella Cosa on Atlantic Avenue at Bixby Road!

Party begins at 5:00pm, deliver your soup, grab a glass of vino, take a number….swap!

Here are some details from the founders of National Soup Swap Day:

Planning Soup Swap
1. Schedule you Soup Swap to give everyone at least two full weekends to make soup.

While weekends make fun parties and are most ideal for large groups, keep in mind that weeknights make a very casual time for smaller groups to swap without the investment of a longer evening.

2. Invite everyone you know, and ask them to invite everyone they know.

You can swap with any number of people, but it more fun with at least six.

3. Ask people to bring FOUR QUARTS of frozen soup.

Here’s some common objects that come in quarts: big canning jars, yogurt containers and you can buy plastic tubs, usually sold in packs of 4.

We’ve found that four quarts is the biggest pot most folks have. Recipes often need doubled. People often show up with two kinds of soup because their recipe didn’t make enough. The real requirement is that everyone have the same amount of soup in same size containers.

4. Send a reminder on Friday before Soup Swap.

It’s great time to start dropping hints on all the wonderful soup you’ve been hearing about as there’s nothing wrong with a little competitiveness!

5. Doing good.

With a freezer about to be filled with homemade soup, it’s a great time to ask people to pick a few cans out of their pantry to donate to the local food bank.

At the Soup Swap
1. Relax and drink some wine as folks arrive…you’re about to host the easiest party you’ve ever had.

2. Put soup in an easy to admire and talk about location.

3. Draw numbers to begin swap

Put a number in a bowl for every person who brought soup. Have people draw a number: this is the order that the soups will be chosen

4. “The Telling of Soup”

In the order of numbers drawn, have each chef talk about what makes their soup special. Is it organic? It is spicy? Does it have anything someone might not be able to eat? Is it a treasured family recipe?

As the host, you might want to go first to make your guests feel comfortable and to set the tone. Unsure what it’s like: here’s a video from Seattle’s 2010 National Soup Swap and here’s a great example to read.

5. Begin Picking the Soup

In draw order, have each person pick a soup… 1, 2, 3 until everyone has picked their first soup…and then again 1, 2, 3 — until you’ve gone around the room six times.

Everyone should now have a wonderful mix of soup in the same amount of soup they came with!


Soup Swap Notebook #1

Potato Leek Soup with recipe, chives and borage flowers for the tasting.  This recipe turned out 4 quarts of soup base, so each container plus stock produced 2 quarts of finished soup.  It was really delicious!

Potato & Leek Soup

6-8 cups broth
2 pounds potatoes
1 pound leeks
2 egg yolks
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
chopped parsley

Chop leeks and potatoes. Sauté the leeks in a little butter for a couple of minutes. Add the potatoes to the pot and cover with broth. You can use beef, chicken or vegetable broth. The recipe calls for homemade veal stock, which would be amazing, but chicken stock is fine.

Cook until very soft. Using slotted spoon, puree all the veg and return to the broth. Bring to a boil and then stir in the eggs and cream. Be sure to beat eggs and cream together before adding to hot soup.

I put 1 cup of potato-leek puree in the bottom each container and poured the soup over. This will give you a very thick soup base. Add more stock, salt and pepper to taste. Chicken, chives, chervil…all good choices to embellish this hearty soup.

Recipe from –
Biba Caggiano’s Northern Italian Cooking

Dear heart, Julie T of Bad Home Cooking hosted this swap and it was pouring down rain!  Wonderful soup weather!!

Home Crepes!

Yarrow, ranunculas, sweet peas and strawberries from last spring out of the family plot

The children categorize items in their world by homemade or store bought.  It’s either home broccoli or store broccoli…they wrinkle their noses at store broccoli.  They have learned a great lesson about home grown food. Sometimes they wrinkle their noses at home items, but that’s a story for another time.

Today we made home crepes…an old cook book called Pancakes has been a great reference for all kinds of flapjacks, and now crepe batters. They turned out to be easy and very quick. They will be added to the repertoire…

Basic Crepe Batter-
This recipe says it makes 24 crepes, we made 10…I guess the novice crepe maker uses twice the batter…we’ll keep at it!

1 C plus 2 T flour
6 large eggs
1 1/3 C milk
3 T rum or cognac (we used grand marnier)
6 T butter melted (ref: 16T per cup)

sift flour, whisk in eggs 2 at a time, then milk one third at a time. Beat until smooth. Whisk in rum, let rest for an hour (we didn’t). When ready to make the crepes, whisk in half the butter. Heat pan, brush with butter, 1/4 cup of batter in to pan, swirl around until set, flip, turn out on to plate…it all takes seconds. Crepe fillings on counter for custom orders….family happy, new favorite meal!

Back at it….

It’s been just over a year since I posted on my Green Acres!  Hmmmm,  a farmers market, farm project, 2 kids, 20 chickens and a dog kept me too busy to sit back and write about all the activities swirling around….but I am excited and motivated to share the homesteady, gardeny, crafty, family business of the daily routine.

Grapes at Corner Stone

We were just talking about the lack of locally grown veggies in Napa because of the high price of land and all those grapes, and here’s what I run across when I sit down to catch up on a little gardenish reading this morning. The article from the Press Democrat, (which I wish I had seen before I left so I could have gone to Benziger last weekend) talks about some of the vineyards and their workers planting vegetable crops. Several of the wineries and vineyards are setting aside days just for working in the garden and have such abundant crops they are selling their produce to the restaurants and setting up farm stands in their tasting rooms. This seems like a head slapping, about time, epiphany for the Valley.

Zucchini Patch

The zucchini sharing, (or dumping) holiday was August 28th. That day came and went because I didn’t have a bumper crop of zucchini that particular week. I had extra the weeks prior and there is an abundance of zucchini in my life right now. Pictured above is just one of 4 robust corn and zuke patches…there are also zukes planted around a few tomatoes. I am talking zucchini. Here is a couple of recipes I will put on the counter along with the sign “Free, take one. Please!”.

For the kids:

Plain Pasta-Boil up some short pasta, my current favorite is de checco rotelle (check out the site and peruse the shapes gallery), boil up some pasta. Right at the end throw in a couple of handfuls of very thinly sliced zucchini. Blanch with the pasta for seconds…depends on how thinly you sliced…just enough to brighten the color and warm through. Strain and in to a bowl. Add seasoning according to your child’s current preferences. Olive oil and parm are always nice. Sneak in some basil on a tablespoon of tomato sauce or with fresh diced tomato.

Zucchini Timbales-Layers of rice, tomato sauce, zucchini rounds, mozzarella, herbs, rice, tomato sauce zucchini rounds herbs…you get the picture…now bake. You can even nuke it when you are too hot or busy to turn on the oven. Better yet, make a water bath with a roasting pan and cook them on the grill next to what ever protein you are cooking up.

Grilled Zucchini-Marinate. Brush with olive oil, red pepper flakes and herbs. Grill. Squeeze a little lemon. Serve!

Monarch Watch Station

Monarch & Zinnia
While my yard is not an official Monarch Way station…the basil and zinnia bed certainly qualifies for a butterfly garden.  Zinnias are on the list for nectar plants adult Monarchs love and I can say first hand they do!  Easy to grow from seed and really hearty in the hot hot sun.  I wonder if it’s too late for another good crop?  I think I’ll plant a couple of flats in the front tomorrow and see how it goes.  Couldn’t hurt!