Saturday, January 25, 2014

Building Community: A Soup Night Book #Giveaway

I think it was the summer of 2011 when Maggie Stuckey first contacted us to talk about our annual Soup Night tradition. She'd just hatched the idea to develop the proposal for a book, after thinking she'd try to do a magazine piece on the subject of building community through soup events.

We referred her to blog posts we've written about the experience of hosting Soup Night, including:

The Power of Soup - February, 2010
Soup Night: Why Size Doesn't Really Matter - March, 2010
Seventy Five Degrees and a Chance of Soup - April, 2010
Soup. Soup. Soup. - January, 2011
Blue Flower Soup and Lessons on Friendship - March, 2011

Fast forward to November of 2011, when we received another email, indicating that she'd been successful.

" I am THRILLED to report that I have just signed a contract with Storey Publishing of Massachusetts to publish the book." she wrote. "My plan for the book is to feature Soup Night events all across the country that, like yours, were created as a way to bring people together. With stories about the events and the people, and recipes from all. If you're willing, I'd very much like to talk with you both, to collect more details and impressions."

Excited that she was interested in featuring us, we referred her to a selection of Soup Night attendees, including local food blogger Rebecca Gagnon of Cakewalk, Nate and Nicole of On My Table Blog, and friends Jen and Bryan Peters.

After a series of phone conversations and emails in which we provided her with more of the finer details of our Soup Night project, we didn't hear from Maggie again until January of 2013, when she gave us an update on the book and asked us for our impressions of the imagery that could be paired with our story. 

The suggestion of an illustration of soup mugs stacked to the point of toppling was one that really resonated with us. After all, it's one of the common sights after an evening of soup with friends - both before the evening begins -- and afterwards -- when the sight of used mugs stacked in the kitchen stands as a reminder of a shared food experience between friends, both old and new.
We're pleased to report that the final product, a book entitled "Soup Night: Recipes for creating community around a pot of soup" was published this past fall. And it's really gorgeous.

The book features, not only our adventures in opening our home to friends, family and community connections, but also the stories of a slew of others who've done the same. Packed with recipes for heart-warming soups (including our recipes for Blue Flower Soup and Tuna Chowder), the book is a delicious testament to the power of food to bring people together in ways that nearly nothing else can.

And because we feel strongly that that's a message we want to share, we've worked out an arrangement with Storey Publishing to give away two "Soup Night" books to lucky readers.

For your chance to win your very own copy of the book, please read the instructions below. Be sure to leave a comment for each entry (and leave your email address if you don't have it listed on your blog/contact info). Please note that this contest is limited to readers in the United States & Canada. Contest ends 2/1/14 at NOON (CST).

Mandatory entry (must be completed or no other entries will count):
  • Tell us what YOUR favorite winter soup is -- and why.
Extra entries – please leave a comment for each additional entry, letting us know you completed it
  • Give us a "like" on Facebook!
  • Follow @Burp_blog on Twitter
  • Use the following text to tweet about this giveaway (please leave a link to your tweet in the comments for credit): Win a copy of "Soup Night" @Burp_blog: Ends 2/1/14 #giveaway
The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Facebook on or before February 3, 2014. The two (2) winners will be emailed separately to arrange for mailing of the books.

Full Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Storey Publishing, who provided us with the books for our giveaway. However, all opinions expressed in this post are our own.


  1. My favorite winter soup is Thai Curry Noodle Soup. A few years ago, my husband and I went to a local home show in downtown Seattle on a very cold, windy day. On our way back through the streets of the city we ducked into a Thai restaurant and I ordered this noodle soup. It was so delicious that I decided to try to perfect it at home, and I did! I posted it to my food blog, BuzzFood:

    I live in a small town which has started a local gift economy that has really spawned a new sense of community, and it's catching on like wildfire. I'd love to approach my peeps there about launching a monthly soup night as I think it would be a fun way to get together. Already, we have one guy who collects everybody's too ripe bananas, makes dozens of loaves of banana bread, and sends them back out to the masses. I'm thinking a monthly Soup Night is probably going to be a big hit around here!

    Tamara Sellman

  2. My favorite winter soup memory comes from when I was a kid and it is still one of my favorites to make and eat: Beef Chili with Macaroni Noodles. Whenever there was a snowstorm in the forecast, my mom would rush to the store to get everything she needed to make chili, the classic, Midwest kind with ground beef, onions, kidney beans and tomatoes. And a side of cooked macaroni noodles. We were a family of five. Mom made enough chili to feed an army, we always joked, filling two large stock pots full of food. This kept us full for many days.

    I still like to make chili because of all the variety that can good into the final dish, like pumpkin, cinnamon, butternut squash, pinto beans, green chilies, bell peppers. Pass the shredded cheese please.

  3. If I'm making my soup, my favorite would have to be Potato Cheese Soup from Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Café, by Peter Reinhart. It's stick-to-the-ribs, creamy, cheesy and has a nice depth of flavor from the combination of soy sauce and white wine. Plus, it's potato soup, so it stays hot a nice long time!

    If I'm ordering in a restaurant, I can't get enough Tom Kha Gai. Sure, I love the noodles and fixin's of pho and ramen, but coconut milk will win me over every time.

  4. My favorite winter soup is my grandmother's Chicken Matzo Ball Soup recipe, with technique added from The Best of Beth Israel (Beth Israel Sisterhood, Glendale, WI, 1983) and Bobby Flay (adding Flanken from 'Throwdown') confirmed by traditional kosher cook Malka Webman. We still make it every Passover and whenever someone is ill. The smell of it brings back so many memories. Coming in a close second is my new go-to, a tasty Lentil Barley soup which can be fat-free, vegan, and only takes an hour. It's from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 1/8/2012 ( and can be amended with whatever you've got in the house.

  5. You're so easy to like on Facebook, so I did

  6. My favourite winter soup to make is split pea, because it's hearty, easy to make, and reminds me of home.

  7. I like clam chowder and chicken tortilla soup.

  8. my favorite winter soup is a chicken pozole because i love chicken, hominy, and getting warm.

  9. i tweeted:


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