Soup-Off 2009 – Get your Soup-On!

19 07 2009

The day was clear and cool yesterday, a slight but cold breeze coming up from the north. Soup-off 2009 was set to be one to remember with 11 soups to be tasted, tested and ranked, with only one possible winning soup to REIGN SOUPREME!

The troops arrive!

The crowd started to file into SOUP STADIUM (our place) at 11:30 am, the trepidation and anxious hunger obvious on all faces. Bread, bread, bread, beer, wine and other accompaniments were placed alongside one another in the kitchen, as we readied ourselves for an afternoon of clattering spoons and distended bellies.

We kicked off the competition with a superb white bacalao soup with parsley oil, served with a butter fried crudette created by Andy. This was a brilliant way to start the afternoon,and the flavour of this creamy white delight stayed with us well into the evening. Andy certainly lived up to his reputation as a fine food maker with his entry this year!

Felix and dave washing dishes between courses

Freya came next with her pumpkin soup “with a twist”. A very solid entry though there is still debaste as to what actually the “twist” was. There was definitely bacon in there, which managed to sneak past the lips of a dedicated vegetarian (looking at you Dave) without any complaints.

The third soup was also a bouillabaisse, served over a garlic mayonaise crouton, resembling a consomme. This was a subtle and well crafted masterpiece by Pablo. Very good work son!

Next was Helen’s Zuchini Zipper! This zippy little number left us all wanting more, and more we got. After we’d had our fill of zuchini, Damon and Sassi went the full 9 yards and made handmade wonton soup, both vegetarian and meat versions! The inclusion of a very asian dish at this stage of the afternoon was an inspired choice, and was very popular among the attendees.

Hand made wontons

Following this was Felix & Amber’s chicken, coconut and corriander soup, which fared very well in the voting later in the night. This was a beautifully balanced piece, and I didn’t want it to end.

We all took a but of a breather at this stage, as the amount of food we had consumed was catching up with us. We all watched the sun go down and prepared our swelling bellies for the second half off the soups.

A bit of provincial Italy came next in the form of an Italian style clam and mussel soup served up by yours truly. As tasty as it sounds, filling us up with the flavour of the ocean. Next in line was a second zuchini soup, this time called “Zuchini Mash” by Maria. This was a delightful green, and had us all drooling and wanting more, more, MORE!  Next was the french portion of the evening, with the inclusion of a French onion soup, always a favourite with the punters, served up by Monsieur Mik. Following in the European vein, the next soup was the Peasant Soup by Tanya, which was a simple soup with amazing ingredients including ham hock and duck fat. This was a realt truimph of flavours, and was a real hit, although we were all struggling to fit in any more food by this stage.

The final soup was a dessert soup of chocolate and raspberries, very rich and a wonderful way to finish the evening.

We than sat back and digested, awaiting the voting portion of the evening. We all conversed, compared notes and made our choices. Then we voted.

At then end of the evening’s votes, it was the very first soup, Andy’s Bacolao Blitz which stole the show, he had to leave early so we had to phone the news in to him. He walks away as this year’s Soup-Off champion, taking the crown from last year’s winner Felix, and basking in the glory that is this title. Well done Andy, and enjoy the winner’s wooden spoon!

Helen, Pablo, Tanya and I pretending to be koalas

That’s then end of my Soup-off 2009 report, thanks to all who came, especially the competitors, because without these soups, it would simply be an “off”. At the end of the day, Soup was the real winner here! See you all at Soup-Off 2010!

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