I just returned home from the SoupBrrrrr soup contest in Forest River, N.D. I was one of three judges (along with Lynette Dickson and Liz Grzadzielewski) for the event, which was a kickoff fundraiser for the town’s 125th birthday celebration in 2012.
It’s a pleasure to take part in community events such as this. Just last weekend, I was among a group of 21 who judged the 25thÂ annual Harvey Avenue Saloon Bologna Cook-Off. And this past summer, I helped judge a rib fest in Oslo, Minn., and a soup contest in McVille, N.D.
There were about 20 entries in the soup contest, submitted by both men and women, featuring a wide variety of soup and stew flavors. The turnout at the Forest River American Legion/Community Center was pretty good. Besides the soup contest, there also was a bake sale. There were all kinds of homemade breads along with a lot of sweets.
Many of the soups we tried were excellent. In fact, when the judging was complete, there were about a half-dozen entries that scored within three points of each other. The soup was rated in three categories: appearance, taste and texture. We also took into account originality.
The winning soup, Chicken Wild Rice, was made by Emily Goodoien. Coming in second, one point behind, was Brian Schanilecâ€™s Mushroom Beef Barley Soup. In third, just two points back, was Dorothy Morlandâ€™s Chicken Noodle, which featured homemade noodles.
Some cooks shared their recipes, but I wasnâ€™t able to get any of the three winning recipes. Perhaps, the winners will share their recipes down the road. (Hint, hint.)
In the meantime, here is a recipe for Cream Of Chicken Wild Rice Soup that should hold readers over until then.
Cream Of Chicken Wild Rice Soup
1Â½ quarts water
1 small chicken, quartered
4 ounces dry chicken soup base
White pepper to taste
Â½ pound wild rice
4 ribs celery, chopped into Â½-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped into 3/8-inch cubes
2 percent milk
4 ounces butter
4 ounces flour
In a large stockpot, put water, chicken, chicken base, white pepper and wild rice. Boil until chicken and rice are almost done. Remove chicken and add vegetables, cook until tender. De-bone the chicken and into small pieces and add to soup. Add milk. In another pan, melt butter on very low heat, then add flour to thicken. Add to soup and stir.
Yield: Serves 10 to 15.