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SOUPer Bowl: Young Professionals to host souped-up fundraiser


Soups are the stars of the Starkville Young Professionals’ SOUPer Bowl Saturday at The State Theatre. Ticket holders will enjoy 10 or more specialty soups from area chefs and vote for their favorites.

Soups are the stars of the Starkville Young Professionals’ SOUPer Bowl Saturday at The State Theatre. Ticket holders will enjoy 10 or more specialty soups from area chefs and vote for their favorites.
Photo by: Courtesy Photo



Jan Swoope



No need to wait until Sunday for Super Bowl weekend action to crank up. On Saturday, the Starkville Young Professionals will host their own annual face-off -- with soups.  


Twelve restaurants will bring their A-game to the 2012 SOUPer Bowl in The State Theatre at 213 E. Main St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chefs throughout Starkville are fine-tuning recipes for this year's match-up. All will be vying for first place and Best of Show honors, but sure winners will be SOUPer Bowl fans, who get to taste every soup before casting their ballots for favorites. 


"This is our annual fundraiser, and it benefits the United Way of North Central Mississippi," said Robyn Cain, current president of Starkville Young Professionals (SYP). "It's a good time; we show the MSU basketball game, and people get to enjoy the soups and socialize." 


SYP's Jackie Hudson added, "The area's best restaurants will be on hand serving specially-prepared soups for all attendees to taste. The event not only highlights local restaurants, but benefits our community's areas of greatest needs." 




How to go 


Tickets to the fifth annual SOUPer Bowl Feb. 4 are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5. Children 3 and under may attend free. Get them in advance at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership at 200 E. Main St., or at R. Tabb & Co., 210 E. Main. 




Starting lineup 


Restaurants participating in this year's Bowl include Bin 612, Brian Michael's Meat Market and Deli, Bulldog Deli, Central Station Grill, Harvey's, Hilton Garden Inn, McAlister's Deli, Old Venice, Ritz Café, Sweet Peppers Deli, The Veranda and Three Little Pigs. 


Recipe teasers already include shrimp bisque with tasso bits and mascarpone cheese, chicken and corn chowder soup, and chicken and sausage gumbo.First place honors last year went to Harvey's Chef Leon Jefferson. The Best of Show Award went to The Veranda and Chef Earl Yates. 


Amy Yates, The Veranda's marketing director, said, "Every year we've done something exclusively for this event. We'll come up with an idea, look toward our suppliers and come up with something completely unique."  


The fundraiser is a great place to try a dozen different soups for one price, in one place, Yates added. 


Arma de la Cruz is director of marketing for the Eat With Us Group (Bulldog Deli, Harvey's, Sweet Peppers, The Grill). 


"We really enjoy the SOUPer Bowl; we like to support the charities that are impacted and enjoy the partnership with the Starkville Young Professionals," said de la Cruz. "And this is a great way for our chefs to get creative outside the restaurant." 


Since it's inception, SOUPer Bowl has raised about $10,000 for the United Way of North Central Mississippi, according to Cain. 


"We really encourage everyone to support this," she urged. "It benefits such a great cause, and with the way the economy is, the United Way agencies really need that support." 


For more information, contact Cain at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, 662-323-3322, or Jackie Hudson at 662-325-4214. 






SOUPer Bowl chefs are understandably keeping their recipes close to the vest, but we've gathered a few others that might suit your Sunday Super Bowl crowd. These are hearty are filling. Kathleen Purvis, food editor of the Charlotte Observer, swears the slow cooker buffalo chicken soup is the "best Super Bowl soup ever." It's adapted from the "Make It Fast, Cook It Slow" cookbook, by Stephanie O'Dea (Hyperion, 2009). 








3 tablespoons canola oil, divided 


1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and diced 


3 stalks celery, diced 


2 to 3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, or 2 to 3 cups cooked, diced chicken 


4 tablespoons (half stick) butter 


1/4 cup all-purpose flour 


3/4 cup chicken broth 


2 cups nonfat or reduced-fat milk 


1 teaspoon celery salt 


1 teaspoon garlic powder 


1/2 cup hot wing sauce, such as Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce, plus more for garnish 


4 ounces Velveeta cheese, diced 


Crumbled blue cheese (optional; garnish) 




  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté about five minutes, until slightly softened but still crunchy. Scrape vegetables in the liner of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker and return skillet to heat. 


  • Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet and add half the chicken, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots and opaque. Add chicken to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining chicken. (If you're using cooked chicken, skip this step and just add it to the vegetables in the slow cooker.) 


  • Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat until just foamy. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, stirring well to incorporate all the flour. n Cook one to two minutes, until roux is slightly golden. Scrape the roux into the slow cooker. 


  • Stir in the broth and milk. Add the celery salt, garlic powder and wing sauce. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for six to eight hours, or on high for three to four hours. Stir in cubed Velveeta about 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional wing sauce and crumbled blue cheese if using.


(Source: Kathleen Purvis, Charlotte Observer, 






Makes eight to 10 servings 




1 pound large white beans, soaked overnight in water, drained 


6 cups chicken broth 


2 cloves garlic, minced 


1 tablespoon olive oil 


2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies 


2 teaspoons ground cumin 


1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 


1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 


1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 


4 cups diced cooked chicken 


3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese 


1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, chopped (optional) 




  • Mix beans, chicken broth, garlic and half the onions in large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, three hours or more. Add additional water or watered-down broth as needed.  


  • In skillet, sauté remaining onions in oil until tender. Add chilies and seasonings; mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture. Add chicken and continue simmering for one hour.  


  • Add jalapeno or Serrano pepper to taste, if desired. Top with grated cheese for serving and garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and/or guacamole. Serve with fresh warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips.


(Source: Sensational Super Bowl Soups, 






Makes five servings 




Cooking spray 


2 cups chopped white onion 


2 cups chopped seeded poblano chile 


1 cup chopped red bell pepper 


4 garlic cloves, minced 


2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth 


2 (15-ounce) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained 


1/4 cup fresh lime juice 


2 tablespoons ground cumin 


1 cup (4 ounces) shredded queso chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese 


2 1/2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream 




  • Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. 


  • Add onion, chile, red bell pepper and garlic; sauté five minutes. 


  • Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. 


  • Remove from heat. Add the beans, juice and cumin. Cover and let stand five minutes. 


  • Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of five bowls, and top each serving with about 3 tablespoons cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream.








2 teaspoons olive oil 


1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage (bulk or with casings removed) 


2 onions, finely chopped 


4 garlic cloves, minced 


2 teaspoons oregano 


1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 


2 tablespoons tomato paste 


1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes 


6 cups chicken broth 


2 bay leaves 


8 ounces fusilli pasta 


1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil 


8 ounces ricotta 


1/2 cup grated Parmesan 


1/4 teaspoon salt 


Pinch of pepper 


2 cups shredded mozzarella 




  • In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is no longer pink, about five to seven minutes. Drain any excess fat from the pot.  


  • Add onions and sauté until softened, about six minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and sauté for one minute. Add the tomato paste and sauté until the paste turns a rusty brown, about five minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broth, and the bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. 


  • Add the pasta, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil the soup until the pasta is tender to the bite, following the time recommendations on the pasta package. Discard the bay leaves, then stir in the basil. If desired, season with salt and black pepper to taste. 


  • In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, the Parmesan, the 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pinch of pepper. To serve, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in each bowl, sprinkle with some of the mozzarella, and ladle the soup on top. Makes about 13 cups.








Makes 12-16 servings 


Prep time: 25 minutes 


Cook time: 6 hours 




1 pound ground beef 


1 pound ground turkey 


2 large onions, diced 


2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained & rinsed 


1 (15 1/2 ounce) can kidney beans 


1 (15.25 ounce) can sweet white corn, drained 


1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes 


1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes 


1 (141/2 ounce) can tomatoes with chilies 


2 (4.5 ounce) cans mild diced green chilies 


1 (4.6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained 


1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix 


1 (1 ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix 


Fritos, sour cream, grated cheese & pickled jalapeños for serving 




  • Brown the beef and turkey with onions in a large skillet. Drain fat, then transfer cooked meat and onions to a large slow cooker (or stockpot).  


  • Add beans, corn, tomatoes, chilies, olives and seasonings; cook in slow cooker on low for six to eight hours (or simmer on low heat for about one hour if using a pot on the stove). 


  • To serve, sprinkle a few corn chips in the bottom of a bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with desired garnishes.


(Source: Adapted by Lori Lange from a recipe by Paula Deen;


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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