The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market’s 12th annual soup tasting was in full swing at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 3. Inside the large tent set up in front of City Hall, restaurant representatives were busy bringing out pots of soup for people to sample.
The morning was sun-drenched with fall blue skies, and the tiny cups of soup helped to temporarily relieve the slight November chill. One of the newest additions to the Bloomington restaurant scene, Hive, offered a taste of its chicken velvet soup.
“It is the perfect day for soup tasting,” Abbi Springer, Hive’s general manager, said.
Soup samplers milled around the tent, chatting with soup cups in hand. Others prowled about the crowd, on the lookout for more varieties to sample. Two signs, one with the restaurant’s name and the other identifying the soup that the place would be serving, hung above the table of each establishment.
IU seniors Elissa Hermanson and Kristen Buffo were among the crowd drawn to the promise of hot soup. Hermanson said she saw the event listed on Facebook and tagged Buffo.
Hermanson also said her favorite one was Laughing Planet’s carrot ginger soup.
Restaurant and food program participants of this year’s soup tasting include Function Brewing, Grazie Italiano, Hive, Ivy Tech Culinary Arts Program, Laughing Planet, Lennie's, Osteria Rago, Sweet Grass, Truffles and Upland Brewing Company.
“Our soup starts with a broth made from chicken bones, which came from Miller Farms’ chickens,” Springer said. “We roast chicken three times a day at Hive, therefore we have lots of bones leftover.”
Springer said the restaurant uses butter and flour to create the roux, after which stock, white wine, milk and cream are added. The main ingredient, chicken, is added last.
Springer said participating in the soup tasting is Hive’s way of giving support to the farmers’ market and the Bloomington community.
“We are still a really new restaurant and we know that a lot of people haven’t had the opportunity to try our soup,” Springer said. “We also like to support our local farms.”
Bloomington resident Denaes Adamson said she has been attending the soup tasting for three years.
“I love soup," Adamson said. "Since I heard the farmers’ market is hosting a free soup tasting here today, I decided to come.”
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