• Carmen Marie Fabio

SOUP Festival a savoury success

PHOTO COURTESY PIERRE SÉGUIN

Clear blue skies and sunshine welcomed the approximately 5500 people who came from across the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region and beyond to sample the culinary skills of amateur and professional cooks alike in making a dish redolent of memories, warmth, and love – soup.

“The weather was perfect,” said organizer Pierre Séguin. “That’s one thing we can’t control but in five years, we’ve been spoiled. It’s always been good weather.

This fifth edition of the annual SOUP Festival (Symbol of Openness and Union of the People) event held September 4 in beautiful Pointe-du-Moulin historical park in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot celebrated a timely harvest of flavours including traditional and experimental soup ingredient combinations. Think beer and cheddar, almond milk and garlic, and a parsnip/pear/ginger combination with a dash of parsley oil.

But the winner of the Golden Ladle for amateur soup makers was bestowed upon the team from Collège Bourget whose winning concoction of cream of cauliflower and leek soup fortified with heavy cream and duck fat, and christened with a sprinkling of crispy bacon beat out the dozens of competitors.

“The girls were so ecstatic,” said project initiator Michèle Knowles of the students who not only cooked 25 litres of the family recipe but helped dole out portions to hungry participants eagerly lined up. “They were the ones who spent the whole day cooking, coming up with the apron ideas, and kiosk decorations.”

Second place Silver Ladle was awarded to the Cercle des fermières Vaudreuil for their own velvety cream of leek soup, whose recipe we’ll share on our Facebook page.

The third place Bronze Ladle honours went to Liberal Member of Parliament Peter Schiefke for his homemade batch of rich and smokey white bean and Chorizo sausage favadas, a crowd favourite that drew lineups long enough to have organizers wander over for a taste of their own.

“The first thing after I won, I called my mom,” said Schiefke of the recipe that originated from his grandfather in Northern Spain. Described as a real family meal as opposed to fancy restaurant dining, Schiefke said he whips up a batch of the thick and hearty soup for his own family on a weekly basis. “When I won, I called every surviving Spanish member of my family.”

The friendly competition amongst the amateurs got, at times, heated.

“They had bacon in their soup,” said Schiefke of the Collège Bourget team. “I called them out on that. It’s unfair,” he laughed, vowing to sneak bacon into his own soup next year. “There has to be an equal playing field.”

First place honours for the professional participants went to Le Félix, une résidence du Groupe Maurice for their butternut squash soup garnished with bacon and crisp maple kale chips.

While participants were encouraged to prepare at least 15 litres of soup, some veterans of the competition came well prepared with almost 40 litres and by the end of the two-hour tasting period, all the cooks had run out of their respective creations.

“Despite the lineups, it’s the only place on the planet where people wait in line with a smile on their face,” said Séguin of the 25,000 soup samples served.

Prizes were also awarded to the group with the most visually pleasing kiosk with amateur recognition bestowed upon l’Organisation Indo-Canadienne de Montréal and the professional nod given to Le Félix, une résidence du Groupe Maurice.

The recipe for Peter Schiefke’s winning soup can be found at

http://pschiefke.liberal.ca/en/news-nouvelles/favadas-soup-recipe/

Check our Facebook page for more photos, and for the recipe for the Cercle des Fermières Vaudreuil’s cream of leek soup. As of press time, we don’t have the Collège Bourget recipe but don’t worry – we won’t sleep until we do!

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45 ml huile 4 poireaux lavés, tranchés 3 pommes de terre en cubes 45 ml de farine Sel, poivre 2ml de basilic 2ml d'estragon 1.25 litre de bouillon 250 ml de lait ou 125 ml de crème Fines herbes fraîches

Dans une casserole, faites chauffer l'huile; faites revenir les poireaux 3 minutes; ajoutez les pommes de terre; laissez cuire 5 minutes

Incorporez la farine; mélangez; assaisonnez de sel, de poivre, de basilic, d'estragon et de sarriette; arrosez de bouillon; faire cuire 40 min.

Passez au mélangeur: incorporez le lait ou la crème; décorez de fines herbes; servez.

Variante: Parsemez de fromage râpé; faites gratiner; servez

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