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Souper Sunday

January 25, 2012

The year is already off to a rip-roaring start. We’ve already begun the early preparations for the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region, Saturday marks the first Fussy Little Tour of the year, and on Sunday I’m judging a soup making competition.

Yes, it’s Souper Sunday.

Sorry. The Schenectady Greenmarket has too much class to enlist such a cheap pun to promote their event this upcoming weekend. Instead, they are calling it their 3rd annual Market Cook-off. Last year’s theme was Spuds Are Not Duds. This year the theme is Soup!

I wouldn’t be doing this had it not been for Wendalicious who recommended me for the job. Thank you. Judging is one of the things I enjoy most. Seriously. But I’m also excited about this particular showdown for a few other reasons.

Eating seasonally in the summer is easy. The winter can be a bit more tricky. And frankly I’m surprised by how many people struggle with finding tasty things to do with potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apples, dried beans, cornmeal, other dried grains, cured meats, eggs, cheese, and other dairy (just to name a few).

Winter foods may need a bit more coaxing to transform it from its hard inedible form into something soft and soothing. But simmer them in a soup pot or roast them in the oven, and not only will they warm your house, but they will fill the air with deliciousness.

So seeing what the chefs make should be interesting, and hopefully inspiring.

It’s not a large event. There are only two or three chefs participating as a result of space limitations. At this moment I’m not entirely clear on the details, except that I’m to show up at the market on Sunday for the judging. Honestly, I would likely have been there anyway to pick up eggs, honey and some vegetables.

One of the chefs whom I expect will be participating is Chris Euripidou from the Farmer Boy Diner on Central Avenue. This seemed like a curious contender, a diner cook competing in a farmers market cook-off. But then I found out, he’s not just any cook. Chef Euripidou graduated summa cum laude from Johnson & Wales.

That’s a big deal. I had no idea. Now I’m looking forward to having a chance to meet him, and learning about how he came to be behind the stove at a diner on the edge of Colonie.

If you come to the market on Sunday, not only can you see me and get the unofficial rundown of the Tour de Egg Sandwich, but you can also get samples of the soups that are being made for the showdown. The judging itself happens between 12 and 12:30, so if you come, I hope you can stick around for the results. And besides the draw of the soup contest, they do have great eggs, honey, milk, pickles, pastry, breads, wine, produce, coffee, tea, prepared foods, kids activities, music and more.

If you’ve never been, the Schenectady Greenmarket is held in the Proctor’s lobby during the winter. Free parking is always available in the covered parking garage behind the Villa Italia bakery.

Anyhow, I wanted to make sure you marked your calendars, because Sunday isn’t that far away. If you cannot make it, I’m sure I’ll have a recap of the event next week. Although that’s a busy week too with another Super Bowl Sunday at its close.

The fun just never stops.

One Comment leave one →
  1. abby permalink
    January 25, 2012 11:07 am

    Mmmm soup.

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