announcing Winter Soups

Community Cookbooks
by Jackie Patti

As a new blogger, I just completly lucked into falling into this awesome group of bloggers on Facebook who have been unbelievably generous.

One of the first projects I joined was Community Cookbooks, based on the story of Stone Soup, a childhood folk tale illustrating the value of cooperation amidst scarcity.

If you're unfamiliar with Stone Soup, the Wikipedia version goes:

Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making "stone soup", which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all.

In Community Cookbooks, instead of soup ingredients to a communal soup pot, we each provided soup recipes for a communal cookbook and thus was born our first cookbook, Winter Soups. We plan at least two additional cookbooks in the future, Naturally-Sweetened Sweets and Gluten-Free Snacks.

My recipe in Winter Soups is my Italian sausage soup, in which many pounds of vegetables wind up flavored throughout with Italian sausage. I use a sweet or mild sausage, but you can use hot/spicy if you prefer, or some of each. Either way, it's a very yummy way to get piles of veggies into your belly.

As in the story, no individual had enough to make the pot themselves. Obviously, we each gave a recipe. The recipes were collated, edited to uniformity, a cover image made. Many folks proofread the whole thing, we all proofread our individual bits. There was some technical glitch that involved the table of contents not being clickable that had to be sorted. There were discussions of selling via Paypal directly versus using a product like ejunkie and similar products; discussions of shopping carts versus buy now buttons. There were banners made and gorgeous sales graphics and discussions of Wordpress plugins. About halfway through this project, I started realizing how much like Stone Soup it really was, when I was surprised that the number of folks posting a sales page for other's review, having never written a sales page before. Yes, NONE of us knew what we were doing; we simply figured it out and shared as we went along.

This COULD have been a disaster, but the thing that truly amazes me is how utterly gorgeous the book turned out. Sure, a collection of the best recipes from a bunch of real food bloggers was expected to be an awesome collection of soups, but that it looks so amazingly professional and just utterly gorgeous was a bit surprising.

I am so proud to have been part of this project, both due to the high-quality of the finished product which just amazes me and because of the awesome spirit of generosity and help I've been enveloped in since joining this project. These are an amazingly fine group of bloggers!

find out more!

Click through to read more about Winter Soups. I hope you enjoy it!

Special Thanks go to:

Pat of Heal Thyself, our fearless leader, who patiently cajoled, helped and answered questions as we proceeded with uncertainty and much confusion...

Aubrey of Homegrown and Healthy, who took on the Herculean task of organizing over 50 recipes in different formats along with pictures and bios, designing us a gorgeous book.

Starlene of GAPS Diet Journey, who took on troubleshooting and formatting issues when it looked like we were in over our heads.

Vivian of The Real Food Guide, who designed our Community Cookbook logo, our beautiful book cover, plus many banners and graphics.

Winter Soups Contributors:

Sarah of Real Food Outlaws,
Shannon of All Things Health,
Shanti of Life Made Full,
Shelley of A Harmony Healing,
Sjanett of Paleolland,
Stacy of A Delightful Home,
Stacy of Paleo Gone Sassy,
Starlene of GAPS Diet Journey,
Susan of Grow In Grace Farm,
Susan of Learning and Yearning,
Suzanne of Strands of my Life,
Sylvie of Hollywood Homestead,
Tracy of Oh, The Things We'll Make!,
Vanessa of Natural Family Today,
Vivian of The Real Food Guide,
Vivica of The Nourished Caveman,
Wendy of Cooking Quinoa.