Why Make Soup for the library?

Hi everyone!  I just bought my tickets for Grape Expectations, The Montclair, NJ Library Fundraiser, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I have to confess, I love the library but I am extra excited about all the soups with a Dickens theme that we’ll be tasting.
Three celebrity chefs in my town will be making soups and I interviewed them to get a little background on why they love the library and why they are making the soups they are.
Will you join me in making sure the library can remain a place for every learner in our community?
Our first Chef….
Jamie Busch
What soup are you making? I am making a Broccoli and Cheese soup
Why this soup? Green soups are are so fun, like slime 🙂 I love to take fresh veggies and puree them with broth and dairy like cheese, it’s just so filling and delicious, and really really simple.  You can literally cook everything in the pot and smooth it out with an immersion blender and voila! Also, Broccoli and Stilton (which is an all time British favorite blue cheese) is a recipe that marries well with the Dickens era theme.
Why do you love the library? the Lie-Berry, as my daughter Rhiannon calls it, is a magical place to take adventures with the imagination.  It’s been important as a child when I played, read, got together with other kids and adults and had book circles, as a teen to do research for school, when I traveled on foot around the US and Canada when I was 24, I often found respite in a library in major cities, they were always like a sanctuary for me.
What am I doing now? – I am publishing a kids coloring cookbook (a copy will be available for perusing at the Grape Expectations event) and facilitating culinary educational programs for all ages.
What soup are you making?  Humble roots mushroom/barley soup
Why this soup? I’m making this soup because I’ve always loved  the comforting milky broth that barley soup provides. It feels nourishing, and it was one of my daughter’s favorite soups when they were young. Gruel is a cereal (oat, wheat, rye) porridge boiled in water or milk for greater nutrition. Historically- gruel from millet or barley was a staple “peasant” food  in the Western diet. .It seemed the perfect time to offer my mushroom/barley soup, made with the sweet humble roots – carrots and parsnips.
Why do you love the library? Libraries are the lifeblood of egalitarian education! In particular, the Montclair library is a center for community events.
Grace Grund from Terra’s contribution-
What soup are you making? “Chok” or traditional Chinese congee, rice porriage cooked in chicken broth (locally sourced) with tiny bits of chicken and scallion.
Why this soup? Why chok?  Nourishing and nutritious, a comfort food, inexpensive and filling, can be eaten by many.  My grandfather always kept a pot of chok on at his home in Singapore during World War II and it was made available to anyone, friend or foe, who wandered in needing a moment of comfort and sustenance.  Was thinking about in hard times and good times and in the idea of “chok” (a gruel) being the kind of food that would be available to all.
What do you love about the library? The library is a peaceful, safe and comfortable place that serves our entire community and its neighbors.    As a child, I spent many hours in a library and it was that kind of place for me.  Being at the Montclair Library – with Terra – everyday, I see it still.  It’s patrons are young, old, rich poor, of diverse cultures.  All are taken care of with respect and care.  Providing many services, providing information, providing place.  To me, our library is truly our center of community.

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