Competition ladles up some 'Souper' Fun

Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 6:24 p.m.

Few foods make mouths across the globe smile quite like a bowlful of soup.

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Chef Dan McKinney of Mildred's Big City Food is entering the 'Souper' competition with Smoked Sausage, Cabbage and Potato Soup with Cedar Key Clams.

Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun


Soup Recipes

Vegetable Minestrone Soup

1/2 cup olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

1 celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 yellow squash, diced

2 red potatoes, diced

2 cups cabbage, shredded

2 cups kale, stripped from stems and shredded

1 large tomato, diced or 1 can diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato juice

2 cans Canellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed

2 quarts vegetable broth

8 sprigs parsley, minced

4 springs rosemary, minced

8 leaves sage, minced

4 springs oregano, minced

salt and pepper to taste

In an 8-quart-plus dutch oven, heat olive oil and saute first four ingredients until vegetables are translucent (approximately 15 minutes).

Add squash, potato, cabbage, kale, diced tomatoes. Stir often until kale and cabbage are cooked (approximately 30 minutes).

Stir tomato paste into vegetable broth. Add to vegetables. Also, add beans and herbs. Simmer for 1 hour.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with croutons and/or Parmesan cheese.

Courtesy Ivey's Grill


Shrimp Celery Bisque

1 cup water

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup potatos

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

Dash white pepper

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 to 2 cups peeled and deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

Snipped parsley

In a large saucepan, combine water, celery, potatoes, onion, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Combine the milk and flour until smooth; stir into the potato mixture along with the shrimp and butter.

Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Garnish with snipped parsley. Do not leave out parsley.

Courtesy Cafe Gardens

(From "One of a Kind: Recipes from the Junior League of Mobile," Mrs. William J. May)


Smoked Sausage, Cabbage and Potato Soup with Cedar Key Clams

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced as small as possible

1 head of Savoy cabbage, finely chopped

2 links of smoked sausage, rough dice

2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)

2 dozen fresh clams

Heat a small pot, add potatoes and saute for five minutes until soft.

Add cabbage and sausage, saute for two more minutes. Add two cups of stock (chicken or vegetable) or water. Add 2 dozen clams, washed. Cover pot until clams open up. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Courtesy Mildred's Big City Food

Submit your own soup recipes to share online and in print. E-mail

From slurps of miso in Japan to gazpacho in Spain or minestrone among Italians - soup is an international menu mainstay, and for good reason.

It satisfies what most hungry people want: taste, texture, aroma and, depending on how you make it, ladles-full of nourishment.

According to a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the simple act of eating a low-calorie soup before biting into a main course may help control calorie intake and assist weight management.

The investigation, which studied 60 participants' lunchtime habits for five consecutive weeks, found that those who ate soup as a first course consumed nearly 20 percent fewer calories during the meal than those who did not.

According to the nutritionists involved in the study, choosing a soup that is low in calories (100 to 150 per serving) and broth-based (not cream-based) will most likely curb calorie consumption while still quenching hunger.

Hungry yet?

Here's an opportunity to indulge. Dip your spoon into more than a dozen of the city's finest soups at St. Francis Catholic High School's first annual "Souper" Fun Sunday, a community-wide soup tasting competition.

The event, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, will pit Gainesville area restaurants against each other in a taste test that will ultimately determine who, in our city of champions, cooks up the tastiest soups.

Local celebrities, including County Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut, TV anchor Paige Beck, radio host Storm Roberts and Gator first lady Shelley Meyer will pick the "Judges' Choice," "Most Aromatic" and "Most Creative" from the entries.

Everyone else who purchases a ticket to the event - which buys a ballot, dessert and beverage - is responsible for voting for the competition's most coveted award, "Gainesville's Favorite Soup."

All proceeds from the event go toward the student endowment fund at St. Francis High School.

"We want to guarantee that we'll have funds for future development," said Dave VanVickle, director of development at St. Francis. "It will directly impact our students."

Tickets are $10 for students and children and $20 for adults. Family packages, which include two adult tickets and two student tickets, are available for $50. The event will be held at the St. Francis gymnasium.

"We've got so many great local restaurants," VanVickle said, explaining how a group of parents came up with the idea to host a taste competition fund-raiser.

Ivey's Grill co-owner Rick Griffin, who will submit his favorite minestrone recipe, said he's looking forward to the event because soup is one of his favorite dishes to cook.

"I really appreciate the alchemy of cooking. You put all of these flavors together and come up with an amazing concoction in the end," Griffin said.

St. Francis Catholic High School

'Souper' Fun Sunday

What: Gainesville area restaurants compete to see who cooks up the tastiest soups.

When: 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

Where: St. Francis High School Gymnasium, 4100 NW 115th Terrace (on 39th Avenue west of I-75)

Tickets: Buy in advance through the school or at the door; $10 for students and children, $20 for adults, $50 family package for two students and two adults.

Vanessa Garcia can be reached at 352-338-3166 or

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