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Santa Fe Souper Bowl: Your Guide to The Food Depot's Annual Event

Hey there, fellow flavor fanatics! Hold onto your ladles because last weekend, my Sexy Nerd and I embarked on another culinary adventure at The Food Depot's Souper Bowl in Santa Fe, NM.

Here's the scoop: Picture 24 local chefs in a soup showdown extravaganza, like the Super Bowl, but with more slurping and less tackling.

Best soups in Santa Fe

The 30th-anniversary Souper Bowl drew 2,000 hungry souls, VIPs storming the scene at 11:00, and the General Admission fiesta kicking off at noon. Winners were crowned by 2:00 pm, with categories like Best Soup in Santa Fe & Best Vegetarian Soup.

Now, the Lobby Soup Showdown had us torn between Chicken Posole Rojo and Tomato Lentil. This is New Mexico, so our money was on posole for the win.

Saving room for soup, not just bread, was a smart move. There was so much soup I could barely sample them all, lest I burst, or at the very least make a funny sloshing sound when I walk.

Sexy Nerd's fave? Boxcar Santa Fe's, which cleverly included Green Chile Hush Puppies hovering above the soup via a toothpick.

Seriously, the hush puppies were great. Sexy Nerd went back for seconds, thirds, get the idea.

He also loved the Vuelve a La Vida soup from Santa Fe Capitol Grill, which translates to Come Back to Life. I was charmed by their fancy clay pot cookware - so Santa Fe!

Dr. Fieldgoods proudly displayed their Souper Bowl trophy. Theirs was my favorite soup last year!

2024 had what is possibly the most unique soups of all time. Capitol Coal Neighborhood Eatery incorporated popcorn into their dish and displayed it with a model train for extra fun. Popcorn doesn't go in soup? Nonsense! From now on, I demand popcorn in every bowl of soup. It pairs with everything.

Souper Bowl

I also love mushrooms (which is weird because I used to hate mushrooms), so the Porcini Mushroom Miso Soup with Smoked Shiitake Chimichurri was on my must-taste list.

Chef Fernando Ruiz with Escondido prepared a delectable corn bisque. He must have been thinking 'Super Bowl' because it included a popular game day snack - fried pork skins.

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen had the most beautiful Beet and Fennel soup. It was almost too pretty to eat.

But wait, there's more! Attendees get to hang out with the chefs. Soup is quick to dish out, so there's rarely a line.

The plentiful desserts provided by What the Truck were scrumptious.

With tasty options for vegetarians and vegans, including Winter Squash Gumbo and Curried Cauliflower, The Souper Bowl had something for everyone.

Friendly volunteers handed out bread (careful not to fill up – so many soups!) and there was endless lobster bisque.

Brochachos created a whimsical winter wonderland for their gingerbread soup.

They even handed out stickers with a smile.

Savory soups from Rowley Farmhouse Ales and New Mexico Hard Cider added a dash of variety.

Restrooms were clean and plentiful - important at such a hydrating event. Yes, it's weird to take a photo of a public bathroom, but look how beautiful it is!

We had perfect weather in Santa Fe, which was sunny and mild. Free Starbucks coffee and iced Passion tea added the cherry on top the sprig of thyme (because SOUP!) on an already delightful experience.

More Souper Secrets: This year marked The Food Depot's 30th anniversary, and Sherry Hooper, the soupy maestro, has been part of the magic for 22 years.

The Food 4 Kids program ensures New Mexico schoolchildren get the nourishment they need.

Feeling like a soup superhero? Volunteer with The Food Depot – you can never have too many helping hands!

If you're a pet lover like us (with five rescue dogs and counting!), rejoice – The Food Depot helps feed pets too!

And did you know the Souper Bowl is the longest-running community fundraiser in Santa Fe, NM? Three decades of soup, smiles, and community spirit – that's something to celebrate!

Winners Circle:

  • Best Soup in Santa Fe & Best Vegetarian Soup: Jambo Cafe's Roast Beet and Ginger Coconut Bisque by Chef Ahmed Obo.
  • This chef attends every year, his soup is always flavorful, his table decor always kicks butt, and he's always so friendly. I was thrilled to see that he won!

  • Best Cream: Tibet Kitchen's Corn Chowder by Chef Rodolfo Flores.

  • Best Savory: Flying Tortilla's Savory Green Chile Clam Chowder by Chef Carlos Ruvalcaba.

  • Best Seafood: Boxcar Santa Fe's New England Shrimp Chowder with Green Chile Hush Puppie by Chef Francisco Delgado.

  • Lobby Soup Showdown: Chef Russell Johnson's Chicken Posole Rojo triumphed against President Len Rand.

Missed the Fun? Mark Your Calendar for 2025: Ready for the ultimate slurp-worthy experience? Mark your calendars for the 2025 Souper Bowl! Tickets fly off the shelf faster than a bread bowl disappears, promising a flavor-packed, belly-warming spectacle.

Top Tips for Your 2025 Super Souperbowl Quest:

  1. Parking Perks: Free parking at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center parking garage – find a spot on Federal Place.
  2. Skip the Printout Drama: Saunter through public entrances like a soup superhero – no paper ticket required.

  1. Soup & Allergens Adventures: Brace yourself for soup stardom – the "Big 9" allergens might cameo, but chefs marked their territory with allergen flags. What are the Big 9?

  2. 1. Milk
  3. 2. Eggs
  4. 3. Fish
  5. 4. Crustacean shellfish
  6. 5. Tree nuts
  7. 6. Peanuts
  8. 7. Wheat
  9. 8. Soy
  10. 9. Sesame
  11. These allergens are often referred to collectively as the "Big 8," but sesame has been added to make it the "Big 9." The chefs marked their territory with allergen flags to ensure attendees were aware of the presence of these allergens in the soups, allowing those with allergies to make informed choices.

    1. Dress Smart: Ditch the bulky items, it's a standing gig without a coat check.
    2. Anticipate a Crowd: Brace for a bustling crowd of at least 1,600 souls. Masks optional because how are you going to eat with a mask on? Still, you're welcome to bring yours for some soup chic style!

Hungry for more? Read all about our overindulgence at the 2023 Souper Bowl.

See you there in 2025!

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