Samplers enjoy soup from local kitchens
The phrase was the theme of this year’s annual soup tasting and was announced several times by volunteer Bob Flynn.
Located on the outskirts of Saturday’s Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market, the sixth annual soup tasting welcomed Bloomington residents for samples of fresh, hot soup donated by local restaurants.
As he guided shivering shoppers into the hastily constructed tent, Flynn wished for a drier morning.
“We had to move everything under a tent in case it started raining,” he said.
Each vendor invited to the tasting was situated under a large red and white canopy, directing shoppers to their spot in the long rows of tables with signs hanging above their heads.
With meat on the left and vegetarian on the right, shoulder-to-shoulders tasters hungrily slurped down one soup to quickly try another.
IU senior Rachel Geissler emerged from the tent with six empty cups, finishing off one more.
“I took it seriously,” she said with a laugh.
Geissler said her favorite was the spicy tomato bleu cheese bisque, a vegetarian selection from the Scenic View Restaurant.
Waiting in line, customers were encouraged to donate to the two sponsors of the tasting, Slow Food Bloomington and the farmers market.
“We have the tasting to encourage people to participate in the market once November and the cold weather comes in,” said Nikki Wooten, graduate student and market garden fellow.
Restaurants present for the soup tasting included The Owlery, Café Django, Dunn Meadow Café from the Indiana Memorial Union, Feast, Laughing Planet Café, The Rail, Trail Head Market and Noshery, Restaurant Tallent, Lennie’s, Sahara Mart, The Scenic View and Upland Brewery.
Erika Yochum, owner of Feast at 581 E. Hillside Dr., said this was her second time being a part of the soup tasting.
“I am usually stuck at the restaurant, and this gets me out,” she said. “I get to see my customers and the community.”
Yochum brought her deconstructed pea soup for the Bloomington samplers
The donators each brought about five gallons of soup, all different varieties and flavors.
Some also provided coupons to their restaurant and the recipe for the presented soup.
With cups of soup warming their hands, tasters were oblivious to the chilly November weather.
Flynn said last year’s cold and dry weather was similar to Saturday’s cold, wet morning.
“November weather is just good for soup,” he said.