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I volunteered to help my friend Lisa Kates who is known a “Afoodgypsy” prepare for this Sunday’s Soupalicious:



Lisa will be presenting 40 litres of cabbage borscht soup at this event. If you are planning to attend, make sure you get there by noon because many vendors will run out of soup and Lisa’s soup is so good that she’s bound to run out early!

Making 40 litres of soup is not a task that can be handled in the average kitchen. Lisa was able to use the kitchen facilities of a west-end café/restaurant that specializes in Drop-In Dinners, Workshops and Supper Clubs called The Depanneur (click on any photo to see a larger version):

The Depanneur is owned and operated by Len Senater and he was there just before 9 a.m. to greet me. I arrived early because I was not familiar with this neighbourhood and  as most of you know, I get disoriented when I travel west of Yonge Street. “The Dep” as the locals call it is located at 1033a College Street just west of Little Italy.



Lisa quickly got us organized and we got to work right away. Luckily all of the produce that we were about to use such as cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions had all been delivered to The Dep so we were able to start immediately. The Dep has an event going on later today so we had a deadline of 2:30 to be cleaned up and finished.

Here is Lisa getting some of our chopped goodies into the stock pot. Some of my handiwork is evident in the first of two massive bowls of onions that I chopped:

In order to make this a borscht, you need beets, and Lisa prepared this stock yesterday:

A great photo of Lisa and me taken by Len:

Here’s Lisa organizing the chopped cabbage, garlic, beet stock, and spices:

After I had chopped a ton of onions, my next task was celery:

Here are three massive stock pots that Lisa was orchestrating:

Here’s volunteer Dar Lene along with Tiffany and Cookie. And yes, Cookie is a baker, hence the nickname:

The soup is almost in it’s final stage with the addition of dill:

And the final photo of the master soup-maker Lisa ladling out samples of her wonderful cabbage borscht soup which was completed after only four hours:

This was such a fun day and I only nicked myself once with my knife but didn’t draw any blood! I had a chance to meet some lovely “foodie” people and we had conversations about food, cooking, eating local, farmers’ markets, and cheese.

And one of our volunteers had a fascinating discussion about keeping chickens in her backyard—in Toronto!

Thank you so much Lisa, for letting me help you with Soupalicious. My wife and I look forward to the event this Sunday and I will be taking many photographs of Lisa and other vendors as well. Stay tuned for part two of my Soupalicious blog.

More chopping will be in my future as Lisa is going to make 200 litres of soup for Soupstock on October 21st at Woodbine Park: