The soul of soup: cooking with my Soup Sister

My new Clean Soups book comes out next week (!!!) I’m excited to share with you the first of what we’re calling the Soup Sessions, videos in which I’m behind the stove with dear friends, family and colleagues stirring up new recipes from the book. This first video is with my very dear Soup Sister, Julie Burford, my neighbor and culinary co-conspirator for these dozen years. And I’m going to share the punchline right up front: this video is about love. 

But then that’s soup, isn’t it?

How I met Julie

Gregg and I had just married and moved into his neighborhood. Julie and Stan Burford dropped off an invitation to the traditional 4th of July party which they were hosting that year. Gregg wrote back, “Rebecca and I will be there.” The Burfords responded, “Who’s Rebecca?”
 
It was my debut.

We arrived at the Burford’s with my favorite “blue bag corn” from the farmers’ market, a dozen fresh ears that come in a blue bag, and something to drink and something to grill, as suggested on the invitation. On Julie’s kitchen counter, however, were an exquisite array of tarts, fancy salads and sides — a glorious spread of expertly prepared, REALLY well thought-out food. And I walk in with a dozen ears of corn. I thought: oh my God, I’m screwed! I just entered a major culinary mecca with raw corn. I’ve just published my first cookbook, I’m a trained chef, I’m cooking at Commonweal and I have private clients. I am a food PERSON. And THIS is their first impression of me?

I slipped out of the party, ran back to my house 2 doors down, and returned with a stack of cookbooks, which I signed and gave to all the magnificent cooks there. I signed one for Julie: “Dearest Julie, I have this feeling that you and I will be doing much cooking together, and that you will be working with me on many projects.”  How did I know that? I just did. 

We talked the whole evening. I didn’t know it until that moment, but I was STARVED for that kind of connection with a woman who was well-seasoned about the world and the kitchen, possessed of a WEALTH of wisdom, a woman who was a sterling success in business yet so grounded and heart-centered. I had so much to learn from her!


The sisterhood of soup

Julie and I got to know each other by cooking together. When you’re chopping and stirring, stories come out! It’s the best way to get to know someone. When you’re cooking you’re so present to everything that’s going on — the smells, the sounds of the knife on the board and the onions simmering, our dogs brushing against our legs (they’re buddies, too). Memories are stirred. You get beyond the surface when you’re cooking with someone. Layers and layers are peeled away. You get to what’s real and authentic about each other. 

Soup brings up love. We’ve shared hundreds of pots of soups and sauces, endless laughter and countless tears. She’s my safe haven, that person in your life who’s a well-seasoned human being with compassion, encouragement and inspiration. We’re best friends. She’s family! The fact that she lives 2 doors up the street is just amazing. I truly believe she was put there for me :)

Your turn to stir the soup!

Watch the video above to get a REAL feel for this delicious sweet and sour cabbage soup, guaranteed to supercharge your system! It could become a family classic :)

SOUP MAKING CAN EXPAND TIME! WHEN COOKING WITH SOMEONE YOU’RE SO PRESENT, AND YOU’RE CREATING A SENSORY MEMORY YOU CARRY WITH YOU ALWAYS. YOU LEARN ABOUT EACH OTHER, AND THEY BECOME A PART OF YOUR HEART.