The Super Bowl has come and gone, but this coming weekend, the Souper Bowl is alive and well. On Sunday, February 10, at 5 p.m., the soup-tasting extravaganza will kick off for the first time since Souper Bowl III, held in 2010. As in the past, the Souper Bowl will be held at the Round Barn Farm, but this is the first time the farm staff, including chef Charlie Menard and event coordinator Lisa Reisner, has organized it.
The original Souper Bowl was the brainchild of Mad River Localvores organizers Robin McDermott and Nancy Baron. Menard says their busy lives got in the way of continuing the event, but that didn’t stop a constant stream of requests for revival from past attendees. This year, Menard made the last-minute decision to give the people what they wanted.
In just a few weeks, he’s enlisted a who’s who of Mad River Valley restaurants, from upscale destinations such as the Common Man and Timbers Restaurant at Sugarbush Resort; to casual spots including Bridge Street Butchery and the Warren Store. The evening will begin with slices from American Flatbread. After that, diners can use their own bowls or ones provided by the Round Barn to feast on four-ounce soup samples from each of the 10 vendors.
“A lot of people think, Oh, it’s just soup; you’ll have to go to dinner afterward,” Menard says. “But if you go to each of those tables, you’re going to be sloshing for sure.”
At press time, Menard didn’t yet have a list of soups — even his own is still to be determined. In past years, he has served cheddar-ale soup in local hydroponic tomatoes; beef stew in pastry; and a make-your-own option that allowed guests to combine their favorite stocks, meats and veggies. This year’s choices are sure to be equally inspired — and filling.