On Saturday Feb 2, the annual Souper Bowl by the Food Depot was held. This is the biggest fundraiser that the Food Depot conducts. Check out the Food Depot’s website to see all the important work that is done for Northern New Mexico. All the signed up participants are also listed there. Some participants didn’t make it like the Violet Crown (Movie) Cafe due to circumstances beyond their control. Another chef received stitches. Yes, this is a very serious competition.
I love this event because it combines eating with doing a good thing. But I really love the eating part…
This year about 22 talented local chefs from Santa Fe Restaurants, catering companies, retirement communities, and a college food service contributed soup. There was a fierce, friendly competition to vie for the best cream, seafood, savory, vegetarian, and best soup in Santa Fe. Trophies were awarded as well as bragging rights for best soups. As participant judges, we received a “swag bag”, which contained our ballots to vote for our favorite soups.
This event along with Santa Fe Restaurant Week is where I try out some of the new restaurants and catering companies of the Santa Fe Area.
We liked all the soups. There were no clunker soups here. Every one was delicious. It is just that we thought some were more delicious than others. This is just our personal preferences. My favorites include El Castillo Retirement with a cold green soup(pistachio?) in a mini martini glass garnished with a rolled ginger cookie. JgHow can you go wrong with that?
Barranca Café from the Cities of Gold Casino had a tomato bisque. The presentation was inventive with a toothpick adorned with a tiny plastic football, lime, and a shrimp. The soup looked watery. The Barranca representive said it packed a punch, which it did. It wasn’t watery to taste. It had plenty of carrots and a root vegetable( I believe). Wow! I would eat that soup any day. And yes I went back for seconds this year to try and be fair about what soups I really liked. La Boca had a delicious Spanish Mushroom soup. I don’t know what made this soup Spanish but it sure tasted good. MiSanta, a catering company, had an horchata vegan soup! It had all kinds of coconut. I talked to Chef Rodriquez about how I didn’t even know it was vegan! The Social Kitchen and Bar had a yummy corn chowder, while Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen had a curry butternut squash & shrimp soup. The spices were truly delightful! Kingston Residence had a creamy Thai coconut seafood soup with a lime and onion garnish.
We did not sample any of the meat soups, like the Jambo Cafe, Nath’s Inspired Khmer Cuisine and Cafe Bon Appetit at IAIA & SFO . They looked delicious and very tempting. In fact, Chef Nath’s Inspired Khmer Cuisine won Best Soup with her Chicken Red Curry. This is the fourth year in a row that the talented Chef Nath has won the best soup category. She also won in the Best Savory category. Other winners included Caribbean Martini by El Castillo for Best Cream soup, Best Seafood was awarded to Kingston Residence for their Thai Coconut Seafood, and Best Vegetarian went to Social Kitchen for their corn chowder.
I thought all the soups were winners!
This was the 25th Souper Bowl and each year seems to get better and better. The Souper Bowl is usually held at the Santa Fe convention center around the Super Bowl. Early ticket admission was 25 dollars per person, 35 per person after Jan 2 to Feb1st and 40 dollars per person for the day of the event. This year there was also a VIP ticket. It was 75 dollars per person. You were able to enter at 11am instead of 12 pm to miss the large crowds.