Our church has a weekly children’s program called AWANA, an internationally known organization that promotes Scripture memory. In the spring of each year, there is a Grand Prix where kids in grades 3 – 6 race cars that they have made themselves from the AWANA approved block of wood. The church youth group has capitalized on this Wednesday by hosting an annual “Soup Off” competition as a fundraiser.
How It Works
- Youth group students, parents, and sponsors work the meal
- We recruit contestants to enter a soup in the “game” – it costs $5 to enter
- Between 15-25 soups enter each year for the prize – a soup ladel!
- People pay to eat and vote for their top three soups
- Church attendees donate bars for dessert – thanks to those who did!
- A local grocery store (thanks, Cub!) donates bread to go with the soup
- Winners are announced in the middle of the Grand Prix
Last year, my sweet girl won with her raspberry white chocolate dessert soup (I think the brownie croutons pushed the voters over the edge). This year, with dessert soups banned, there was some super tough competition.
My personal favorite – the Buffalo Chicken Soup – did not make it into the top three, but it gets the prize of being named on my blog! I cannot wait to get that recipe!
Last year, all four of my family members (that includes me) entered soups. This year, the boy took the year off. But I was proud that we had a 75% family involvement rating!
See our entries below:
Now for the moment that you have been waiting for – The 2012 Soup Off Winners!
In 3rd place (represented in the photo by her daughter) is Shari Fehr with her Creamy Tomato Soup.
In 2nd place is my sweet girl – Beth Bender – with her Curry Pumpkin Soup.
*insert drum roll here*
*wait for it……*
And in 1st place is Lori Hetteen with her North Woods Wild Rice Soup. If you know Lori, ask her for some fun details about the story behind newest prize offered by my pastor huz. On second thought, ask her husband.
And now for the real moment you have all been waiting for – the recipes!
Creamy Tomato Soup by Shari Fehr
3 stalks celery
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 medium onion
2 29-oz. cans tomato puree (no salt added)
1 46-oz. can tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 Tbsp. whole cloves
1 qt. half and half
3/4 tsp. baking soda
Puree celery, parsley, and onion together in food processor. Pour into 6-qt. slow cooker and add tomato puree and tomato juice. Add salt, white pepper, sugar, and butter. Place whole cloves in muslin bag or tea infuser and add to tomato mixture. Simmer in slow cooker approximately 4 hours. About 1/2 hour before serving, combine approximately 2 cups of the tomato mixture with the half and half, and then slowly whisk the combination back into the tomato mixture. (This helps prevent curdling.) Return to temperature, and then whisk in 3/4 tsp. soda for a more frothy texture. Remove cloves, and serve.
Curry Pumpkin Soup by Elizabeth Bender
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional – this chef did not use)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup curry powder
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 (29 ounce) cans pumpkin
- 3 cups half-and-half cream
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Arrange pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until seeds begin to brown.
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in flour and curry powder until smooth. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to bubble. Gradually whisk in broth, and cook until thickened. Stir in pumpkin and half-and-half. Season with soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds.
North Woods Wild Rice Soup by Lori Hetteen
Chef’s note: I adapted this from a cookbook called “Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer.” Author’s note: I am on my way over to your freezer, Lori Hetteen!
- 1/2 lb bacon, fried, drained, and crumbled
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1/2 c celery, chopped
- 1/4 c butter
- 3 T flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t thyme
- 1/2 t paprika
- 1 1/2 c cooked chicken breast, shredded or cubed
- 1-10oz can chicken broth
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 c milk
- 1 1/2 c half-and-half
- 1 1/2 c cooked wild rice
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- sliced almonds browned in a little butter
Saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt, thyme, and paprika. Heat until bubbly. Add cooked chicken, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, milk, half-and-half, and cream of mushroom soup, stirring until thickened. Fold in rice and bacon. Serve topped with almonds. (Yields 6 large bowls of soup)
And that, my friends, is how you win a soup off!
What great ideas does your community (church or otherwise) have to bring people together?