On Saturday the Firestone Cares team (a couple called Greg and Sheri, who organise social events for the apartment block) put on a "Soup Off" competition, and we decided to enter. We had a flick through some recipe books and decided on carrot and orange soup, a standard cook-veg-and-blend type soup which might come to mind if you thought "home-made soup". We were told to bring a sign to identify it, too, so wrote the name in large capital letters on a sheet of A4, and took it, along with our saucepan of soup wrapped in a towel to keep warm, over to the clubhouse.
Well. Pretty much everyone else had these sophisticated slow cookers/crockpots which they'd plugged in to keep the soup hot, and these itty-bitty signs to say what the soup was. And what was in the crockpots? Huge hearty meaty dishes like stews, ranging from chowders to gumbos to straight-out chili con carne. So this is what Texans call soup! We felt Different with a capital D, with our little vegetarian soup in an ordinary battered saucepan.
Greg and Sheri had roped in three of their friends to be judges, and they did a very thorough job of tasting and discussing and ranking. Their comment on ours was "never tasted anything like it" but that appeared to be a good thing because we won 3rd prize! Our great British soup netted us $100 rent discount, which wasn't bad at all considering it cost about $5 to make and we got a free dinner of everyone else's chicken chowder and beef and vegetable casserole. The winner was a verde chicken tomatillo soup, which was pretty special - a really nice blend of flavours.
So, a fun and productive evening. And this is the winning soup itself: