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Get Ready for Soup Week

RDA's picture

This is a shout out to my amazing Cook the Issue 2010 folks—and anyone else who might be interested in participating in a challenge that’s probably a lot more doable for most than cooking an entire year of Fine Cookings! The next challenge is going to last just one week (Feb. 25 through Mar. 4) and it’s focused on one of our all-time favorite dishes: Soup. Ladies, get ready for Soup Week! More details will follow, but since I know photographing your food is sometimes hit or miss, I don’t want you to miss one shot if it happens to be soup!

Have a great weekend,


Pielove's picture

soup (post #71026, reply #1 of 12)

Ha, I am terrible at photographing soup-- I always end up steaming the lens!  What, only a week???  How will I amuse myself for the other 51?


ICDOCEAN1's picture

Photographing soup (post #71026, reply #2 of 12)

I agree that it is a difficult to photograph soup and most of the time it doesn't look too pretty because we are, after all, really cooking and serving the soup, not food styling it for a magazine.  Some soups photograph well, and just need a pretty bowl as a prop, but most of the time a cooked down soup with vegetables and meat/chicken, look not so good. 

I hope that we have more details soon so that we can do a little planning for groceries, I have to travel quite a distance and hit a couple of stores so it is practically a day long event for me and I work from an organized list, week to week and since I have to be in Wilmington (2 1/2 hours) next week a trip to Costco is in order. 

My 'scarole soup starts out so pretty and then turns not so pretty at dinner time, granted, I was just rushing to put it on the table and didn't decorate it for a photo session, but you get the picture.

By the way, this is a great soup for a quick weeknight dinner, takes about 30 minutes if you have chicken broth/stock homemade or canned will do, grill a few Italian sausages or make a few meatballs, practically done.

We are eating soup a couple of times a week these days and I am able to put some in the freezer for DH's lunches when he feels like soup and trust me he loves soup.

I like your comment about the other 51 weeks, a challenge once a month would be good and with the cost of groceries going up noticeably, it would be nice if FC could get address that issue with cost saving measures and recipes as a lot of times the "special" ingredients alone are costly.

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ICDOCEAN1's picture

Soup week (post #71026, reply #3 of 12)

Hey Robyn I was just telling Pie that it would be nice to have a few more details available to us for planning purposes alone.  Grocery shopping being the most important thing that I can think of at the moment.  I was telling her that I for one have to travel at least a 40 mile rt most of the time, once a week or so and then our bigger Costco and Sam's 5 hours rt and 50 miles rt, respectively.  While I have a store closer to home, the quality of the food is not as good as it used to be when they first opened in our small community,  the cost is high and they pretty much cater to a tourist environment for most of the year.

So keep us up to date when possible...

RDA's picture

Sure, ICD, If you shop with (post #71026, reply #4 of 12)

Sure, ICD,

If you shop with soup staples in mind, you can’t go wrong. We’re not going to ask for classics vs. innovations or creamies vs. chunkies, we’re just celebrating soups, any and all: an old recipe, a new recipe, your recipes, our recipes, your mother’s recipes. If it’s a soup you love and its simmering away on your stove, we’re going to ask you to share it with us.   

Also, I’ll consult with our amazing photographer and food stylist and see if I can’t feedback a few tips for photographing your soups. I know it isn’t easy!  Stay tuned.


ICDOCEAN1's picture

Soup week (post #71026, reply #5 of 12)

Thanks for the input and it sounds like fun as well as appropriate for the a little more wintry weather for some and cooler rainy weather, here in NC.  We have been battling colds here lately and soup has saved the day more than once lately. 

With the increasing cost of groceries, I more than ever work from a menu plan for the most part, including soup at least twice a week.   Soups make for a great satisfying dinner and I can't wait to see what everyone contributes.  I have several ideas, not complicated or exotic and probably considered good home cooking recipes, at least in my house.   

I'm not too concerned about photographing I'm not a pro and the focus, so to speak, should be on the food and the recipe.  Until the Cook the Issue challenge, I was just taking pictures of my real recipes to add to my MasterCook files as visuals are important when passing down family recipes or great dishes to make again. 

All photograph ideas and suggestions are welcome.  So this should be fun!




swenson's picture

Try this site (post #71026, reply #6 of 12)


Professional Photography 101 - Professional Photography Tips

Photographing soup is one of a professional photographer's toughest assignments. Learn the tips, tricks and techniques of the pros. ...
Lots of soup photo tips for free.
RDA's picture

Soup Photo Tips (post #71026, reply #8 of 12)

Hi ladies,

First off, please don’t feel like you need to take professional-looking shots to share your soups once the challenge starts (more on that later this week). Sure, appealing photos catch our eye, but we’re just as interested in what you’re doing with ingredients and how your recipe (if you’re sharing one) comes together.

For those looking for a few soup photo tips busy home cooks can use, here you go:

Use a contrasting bowl color so the soup really pops.

Pour your soup where you’ll take your photo. If you don’t mind dirtying one, use a liquid measuring cup to pour the soup in the bowl; sometimes you can capture some pretty swirling from the pour. Swirling with a spoon or even your finger can add a nice effect too, but keep the sides of the bowl clean. If you smudge or splash, wipe it off.

Don’t skimp on the garnish, especially if the soup is smooth; a swirl of cream, a few croutons, even just some chopped herbs or nuts go a long way toward dressing up a simple bowl of soup.

Hope that helps!


Edited to add: Here’s another tip Sarah offered up last night. It’s a good one for all food photos, not just notoriously difficult soups: Whenever possible, take your photos in natural light. Since it’s pretty dark when most of us are making and eating dinner, it might be a good idea to photograph your leftovers the next day in the light. 

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Photos (post #71026, reply #9 of 12)

I am not at all concerned about taking professional looking pictures as serving dinner and eating it are priorities around here.  Thanks for the hints.  I look forward to soup week. 

Pielove's picture

good tips! (post #71026, reply #11 of 12)

Great tips Robyn-- I agree that the natural light is the most challenging!  Ha, if you look at my oeuvre, it is clear that sometimes documentation comes before artistry!


ICDOCEAN1's picture

Good tips (post #71026, reply #12 of 12)

Hey pie, the lighting is a challenge around here for sure and I recall my winter days in DeKalb and Freeport, fewer sunny days than here for sure. 

The soup challenge should be fun and since we have soup at least twice, sometime three times a week I have a list of a few to make and one or two to try, now picking from the list will be the challenge for me.

DH has 6 1-9 nights coming up including tonight and tomorrow and he loves to take soup for dinner and my soup stash in the freezer is pretty much used up, containers of chili, but no soup.  I made chicken and beef stock a while back so I am good to go in that department.

I don't think that I will go nuts and try anything new or use anything out of season, with the cost of groceries on the rise, I am going to try and stick with what is fresh, in season, with the exception of tomatoes of course, and remember that my soup man has to like it, I certainly don't want to have to toss anything out, I am all about zero waste tolerance here lately.  All in all good bowls of comfort is my agenda. 

Soup week, perfect for those of us trying to get over a cold and certainly a bowl of something is in order for a rainy day.  I guess that I will go read the rules now...

Have fun!

Edited...don't know why I can't add the "s" to days in the first sentence.  It shows up to edit, but won't show after posting...weird

liamsaunt's picture

soup (post #71026, reply #7 of 12)

Perfect timing.  We are supposed to be getting (another) snowstorm on Friday.  I will participate!

kitchengoddess's picture

I'm in (post #71026, reply #10 of 12)

Ok, so I'm at work and should probably be working, HA.  I haven't read all the posts so I appologize if I am duplicating anything or haven't responded to something specific.

Just wanted to say I'm in.  Been crazy busy so I haven't checked back.  Will try to check in and actually read the posts in a day or so.

so excited!!