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Taubman Hosts 3rd Annual Souper Bowl to Benefit the Rescue Mission

A variety of soups competed for “Roanoke’s favorite.”

by Beverly Amsler

Winter is a great time for soup and about 500 people attended the annual Souper Bowl held at the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke.  Chefs from 13 local restaurants donated their time and their soup, and each patron received a ceramic bowl made by local craftsmen that they could take home.  The tasters also voted for their favorite soup.  The Hotel Roanoke won with its crab soup last year.

Rebecca Boone from Fincastle was carefully studying the long, cloth-covered table, trying to find just the right bowl.

“Oh, you know women.  You have to pick just the right one that speaks to you.  (The one I got) last year, I just love it and I use it all the time for little crackers and things.  But the beautiful part about it is they’re made by different artists and the personality of the artist and the colors and (it’s) just so hard to pick; they’re all so gorgeous.”  She came last year and said the soup was fabulous then.  It was “to die for”.

Kellie Miller from Buchanan attended the event for the first time.  She was trying a cauliflower bisque from the River and Rail (Restaurant).  It’s fantastic.  It’s creamy, buttery, very savory.”  She said she would taste “a couple more cups” before deciding on her favorite but had it narrowed down to the top two or three.    “It’s really cold.  Soup hits the spot when its 35 degrees outside.”

Sandra Miller from Fincastle had several empty plastic cups stacked on top of each another and was tasting the cauliflower bisque as well.  “It’s good.  The tomato basil over there is great.  The jambalaya was a surprise.  Good thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.”

Chef Jerome Bonds from Norah’s Cafe at the Taubman Museum was serving his baked bean soup into individual cups for tasting.   His secret ingredient? “Just the love I put in into it.  That’s the secret ingredient.”

He’s participated in all three Souper Bowls.  “I think it’s all about the cause of the event; to support the Rescue Mission, I think that’s the most important. I’m really not concerned with the winning or losing.  It’s just because of the event-what it represents.”

Casey, from Carrabba’s Italian Grill at the Valley View Mall, was serving soup and talking to patrons.

“We are serving a tomato basil soup.  It’s just chicken stock, tomatoes, onions, garlic, celery and basil.  Top it with croutons and basil on top.”  She says it’s something that’s normally served at the restaurant.

RAM House and the Rescue Mission divided the proceeds from the event.

This was the third annual Souper Bowl, although the event was snowed out in its first year.  Uneita Matthews from the Rescue Mission says, “You know how quickly things become tradition. . .I think its going to continue to be a tradition.”

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