Soup For School – Stone Soup Fundraiser

I wrote recently about serving soup for Tuesday lunches. Wednesday was about enjoying soup for lunch. Not just enjoying, but also helping out a good cause. Every year, the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba holds it’s Stone Soup fundraiser. This fundraiser is in aid of nutrition programs all across the province.

Soup on display
A display bowl of one of the soups on offer.

Some programs, such as breakfast programs, have been generating a lot of news recently. However, this is nothing new to the Child Nutrition Council. They have been working to  provide healthy meals to school children for close to twenty years. 

Soup at the Stone Soup Fundraiser

The Stone Soup fundraiser is the main annual fundraiser for the CNMC. For the past several years its been held in the very large lobby of the Manitoba Hydro building downtown on Portage Avenue.

Root Cellar Soup
The root cellar soup.

Each year a dozen restaurants and organizations team up to offer soups. The soups are available on the basis of three samples for$15.00. while not large portions, each cup of soup provides enough that $5.00 worth gives you nice, light lunch. On that basis, I bought three sets of tickets. This gives me a bit of a challenge, because the fundraiser starts at 11 am, and I have a service to preside at beginning at 12:10 pm. 

Choosing a Favourite

The fundraiser includes a bit of competition. There is a fan favourite, and a judge’s choice award. I did not stay around long enough to find out who won each of the awards. So, I will just tell which ones I tried and which is my favourite(I’ll list my choice in the next section).

The first thing to say, is that they were all very good soups. Choosing a favourite is simply saying which one I enjoyed the most. Plus, since the blog is dining with Donald, who else would you expect to hear from.

I’m going to list them randomly. starting with the Root Cellar Soup from Forth. This is the soup shown above. I chatted briefly with Pamela Kirkpatrick, the head chef at Forth, and she said that they wanted to go local, and at this time of year, root vegetables are the only vegetables available. Fortunately, with their talent, they are able to turn it into a rich, creamy soup.

Thai Cocunut Curry
Thai Coconut Curry delivering the heat.

If you read Dining with Donald regularly(and you should), you know I’m a fan of spicy food. Smith Restaurant provides a Thai Coconut Curry soup that really hit the spice spot. It’s clearly the spiciest of the lot, and very enjoyable. Marion Street Eatery also delivered a Thai Coconut soup. Their’s is a chicken version and not as spicy. 

Stone tortilla
The tortilla soup from Cocoabeans

I also enjoyed the Tortilla soup from Cocoabeans. When this place was located on Tache it was one of my regular haunts. For me it was also a good chance to catch up with Betsy the owner of the restaurant. That is one thing I like about these events. I get to catch up with people that I don’t run into often. It was also good to see Chef Ben Kramer, out enjoying the food.

Frenchway Cafe offers a cheeseburger soup. They say it tastes like a genuine cheeseburger, and it does. When a dish lives up to it’s name, that is a good thing.

Cheeseburger soup
A really enjoyable cheeseburger soup from Frenchway Cafe.

Every year there is a least one school culinary program. This year it is Tec Voc. They offer up a Farm & Fair Coconut Butternut Squash Chai Soup. With an emphasis on Fair Trade products. 17 Wing’s dish is based on the idea of a White Chicken Chili. Finally Brazen Hall offered up a Korean Beef soup called, Miyeok Guk. Not all of my photos turned out, but all the soups were delicious. 

Stone Soup Winners:

The event has two categories for top soup. The first is Judge’s choice. In this category the winner is the Chicken Corn Chowder from Rudy’s Eat and Drink. I did not try this one, so I have no comment on it.  I also did not try the soup from Taverna Rodos. The People’s Choice award went to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Catering department with their, Candied Bacon and Potato Chowder with Bothwell Old Cheddar Cheese. A very good soup indeed.

While I like all the soups that were offered, my favourite was the potato sausage from Little Goat Food and Drink.

Congratulations to all the chefs and establishments who participated. Even bigger congratulations to Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba for all the work they do helping to ensure children have healthy meals to enable them to take full advantage of their school days.

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