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Garnish your cauliflower soup how you will—like with piñon.

Souper Bowl Post-Game Report

Yes, soup for you!

February 1, 2017, 12:00 am

Walking around the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on the snowy Saturday of the Souper Bowl, I wanted to ask every chef: “How did you do this?” But there were so many soups at The Food Depot’s annual fundraiser, and so little time. So I bought a copy of cookbook at the event (You can get one at You can also buy an insert of this year’s new recipes to add to your previous edition for $8. Not bad).

Unfortunately, two of my favorites weren’t in the book! Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (1512 Pacheco St., 795-7383) wouldn’t give us the recipe for its best-of-show Thai-Cambodian coconut chicken soup. Quit hoarding, people! I loved the way that soup’s layers of flavors just kept going and going.

I also loved the bacon-topped chowder from Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado (198 State Rd. 592, 946-5800), which was voted the Best Cream Soup, but the restaurant didn’t get its recipe in before the cookbook’s deadline. In my opinion, the green chile corn chowder was a brilliant strategic move by Terra. The pile of sweet, salty, fatty chili bacon (Editor’s note: Yes, the other chili) that garnished each tasting cup was a flavor bomb that outgunned nearly everyone. (Actually, Terra got the most votes of any entry, but Sweetwater collected more votes for Best Overall Soup.)

We’re hooking you up with that yummalicious recipe and The Palace Restaurant and Saloon’s (142 W Palace Ave., 428-0690) cauliflower soup, which took the top award in the very competitive vegetarian category. What chefs Jen and Evan Doughty didn’t include in that recipe is the swirl of truffle oil that garnished each little taster at the event. I think it’s essential. Don’t skip it.

Souper Bowl 2017: Best Cream Soup

Green Chile and Corn Chowder with Chili Candied Bacon and Cilantro Pesto

By Executive Sous Chef Kevin Walsh Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado

Serves 4-6

  • 4 ears of corn grilled in the husk, kernels removed (save the cobs!)
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup medium-heat green chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 4 bacon strips, sliced and cooked until crisp
  • 1 medium Idaho potato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup polenta
  • 1/2 quart corn stock (recipe below)

Corn stock:

  • 4 corn cobs
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 quart water

Place all ingredients for the stock in a stock pot and simmer for one hour and strain.

Candied bacon:

  • 5 strips bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili powder

Place bacon onto a cookie sheet. Mix the brown sugar and chili powder. Sprinkle sugar chili mix over bacon evenly and press lightly to make sure mix sticks to the bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked, but sugar mix is not burned. Cool and chop.

Cilantro pesto:

  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ jalapeño

Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

For the soup:

Start by cooking the bacon in a large pot until the bacon is crispy. Add the shallots, garlic and celery and saute until tender. Add your chiles, peppers and potatoes with the cream, corn, corn stock and turmeric. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Then, add the dry polenta. This will thicken the soup and add more corn flavor. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with candied bacon and cilantro pesto and enjoy!

Souper Bowl 2017: Best Vegetarian Soup

Cauliflower Soup

By Chefs Jen and Evan Doughty The Palace Restaurant and Saloon

Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add the cauliflower and continue to cook 3-4 minutes. Add enough half-and-half to cover the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cauliflower is very soft.

Working in batches, if necessary, blend the soup in a blender until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot and adjust the thickness with half-and-half, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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