Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our Kids Soup Sunday at LP Field!

It was an awesome day!  I met up with three friends at "Our Kids Soup Sunday" at LP Field Club level. I have been going to this event for about four years now (mark your calendars for every February), but this was actually their 20th year hosting this event. I received an email from one of the Board of Directors and she sent me a free “media pass” for me and my friend, Vivek. Therefore, I feel an obligation to blog about my experience in hopes that it will encourage you to contribute to the cause or attend future events.

Our Kids Center is a Nashville-based charity who’s mission is to: provide expert medical evaluations and crisis counseling services in response to concerns of child sexual abuse, and to increase community awareness, conduct research and offer education and training about child maltreatment.
They have locations in 5 cities throughout Tennessee to help children & families coping with the ramifications of childhood sexual abuse.

The cost of the annual event is $20 for singles and $40 for the family pack (two adults plus kids). If you wait to purchase your tickets at the door, the price increases by $5 for each ticket type. Every year celebrity judges and culinary judges rate the soups. Celebrity judges have included actors from the show “Nashville” as well as sports celebrities including the Tennessee Titans and the newest Vanderbilt coach. Culinary judges include food critics and well known Nashville chefs.

Fifty plus (50+) locally owned Nashville area restaurants & catering companies provide samplings (about 1 oz each) of their best soups for you to try – although they will gladly have you take more than one. This is an all you can eat event – so I challenge you to get through 50+ ounces of soup and go back for 2nds (that’s 6.25 cups of soup). Bread is also provided at each table along with free sodas and water (stations located throughout the event).

Our Kids provides you with a small tray that will hold about 12 samples. If you’re good at balancing, maybe more, me not so much, I almost had a couple disasters on my hands. If you purchase the “Family Pack” you get a larger cafeteria tray. With the small tray, I made a total of four trips. I missed out on a few since they were sold out before I got there. By the end, I was taking only a sip or two of each.

We tasted some very creative soups and one that I really wanted to spit out (surprisingly it was created by a very high end, reputable restaurant) - no names mentioned other than it contained beer & cheese. I’m not averse to beer-cheese soups but a couple friends agreed with me on this. Sometimes you have to wonder if they follow the chef's code of "taste, taste, taste your food before you serve it". 

Soups: The Girl Scouts served up a "Chocolate Mint Bisque" (basically a Thin Mint cookie soup). How do you say no to a little Girl Scout who asks you to try her soup? Actually, the soup was made by Lorraine's at the Marriott in Franklin. Shockingly it was actually very good. Vivek mentioned as we stood in line that he hated chocolate and mint together, but admitted after trying that it was “actually pretty good”. Not so much a soup as a dessert. Vandy Campus Dining won the People's Choice first place with their "Princess Peach Shortcake Soup" - again VERY good but more like a smoothie (very refreshing and a palate cleanser). 

My personal savory favorite was Taqueria del Sol's "Shrimp Corn Chowder" which won first place from the celebrity and culinary judges. It is on their menu at their 12 South location. They were closely followed as my favorite by Corner Market Catering with their "Curried Yellow Squash Soup". 

Antionio’s of Nashville won second place “creative dish” from the judges as well as third place in the “People’s choice” with their “Shrimp & Cognac Bisque”. This was also a favorite of mine.

I wish I could mention every soup individually but it would take me more space than I am allowed. My favorites are listed above. If you attended the event, please post your comments regarding your favorite soup.

The highlight of the day is my friend, Vivek, gave me a Canon PowerShot S5 IS as an early birthday present. Sorry I don't have any pics to share yet. I need to download the software and get a matching USB cable to sync them up - hopefully I will get that this week. Once I figure it out, I will have no excuse not to create some amazing pictures of the foods we eat around Nashville. 

Our Kids Center
1804 Hayes Street
Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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