Tag Archives: soup

Soup for the Community

14 Mar

IMG_0983Whenever I go to a restaurant I never think to order soup. I always want to get something that I can’t make at home, either because I don’t know where to get the ingredients or because I don’t have the skill to create the dish. After trying five soups from some of Ottawa’s top restaurants, I will be ordering soup a lot more often. This weekend was the annual Great Bowls of Fire event, hosted by the Ottawa Guild of Potters. This is the third time I’ve been to Great Bowls of Fire, 2010, 2012 and 2014. You can find my pervious posts about the event HERE and HERE.


My new bowl!

Great Bowls of Fire is a unique event here in Ottawa. For the price of your ticket, $45 this year, you get to choose a handcrafted bowl and then enjoy soup from some of Ottawa’s top restaurants. Held in the Glebe Community Centre, the atmosphere of the event is warm and inviting. Hundreds of people fill the main hall and eat family style, so you get to meet new friends and run into old friends every year. This year there were ten restaurants showcasing some of the best soup I’ve ever had. What really makes the night for me, other than the soup, is knowing that the event is raising money for the Ottawa Food Bank.

It’s great to see local restaurants supporting the community. Great Bowls of Fire is only one example of restaurants making a difference in the community. There are lots unsung heroes in the Ottawa’s culinary world. Restaurants in Ottawa are selling t-shirts to raise money for local charities, hosting their own events where proceeds go back to the community, providing food to fundraising events and are even helping teach people how to cook. If you see a restaurant at the next fundraising event you’re at, make sure to take note and think about supporting them the next time you’re going out.

I want to give a huge shout out to all the amazing restaurants that took part in this year’s Great Bowls of Fire. Thanks for the awesome soup and I can’t wait to visit your restaurant!

If you’re inspired to give back to the community after reading this post think about giving to the Ottawa Food Bank, you can get more information HERE. Or help me raise money for Right to Play, you can read more about my efforts HERE.

Yummy Yummy Soup!

4 Mar

The first weekend in March one of my favourite events takes place, Great Bowls of Fire. Great Bowls of Fire is an event put on by the Ottawa Guild of Potters in support of the Ottawa Food Bank. Each year more than 300 soup connoisseurs and pottery lovers fill the Glebe Community Centre to enjoy soup from some of the best restaurants in Ottawa, in bowls made by some of the best potters in Ottawa.

My new bowl!

This year my friends and I decided to get there early to make sure that we could get seats together, it’s a good thing that we did! Not long after we got in line, people were lined up around the block! Once you’re allowed in, you go and pick out your bowl. This is no easy choice! All of the bowls have a unique look and are made by some extremely talented Ottawa potters. My strategy when picking out a bowl is first to look for size and then for colour and design. I want to make sure to have a big enough bowl to hold all of the yummy soup. Next you go and find a seat, instead of small tables, everyone sits family style around long tables. This lets you meet some new friends. The next step of the evening is to go around and scope out all of the soups. This is hard because there are about 12 restaurants each serving one soup. Picking the ones you want to try is next to impossible; sometimes I just pick them at random. If you want to know what kinds of soups are available here is a list of what was there this year.

  • Allium – Smoked chicken and cauliflower soup
  • Absinthe – Mushroom veloute with tarragon truffle crème fraiche
  • Canvas Restro-Bar – Black bean chipotle puree

I had 3 of the soups and Sarah had 4 soups, so in total I got to try 7 of the 12. It’s ridiculously hard to choose just one favourite soup, two of them are tied for me in the number one spot. The curried lamb with cilantro and crème fraiche and the smoked chicken and cauliflower soups were my favourites. The curried lamb soup was really hearty and had a really nice spicy kick to it. The smoked chicken and cauliflower soup had amazing deep rich flavours and was a soup you could just eat forever.

This amazing event not only showcases the talents of Ottawa’s potters and top restaurants, it also supports an amazing cause. Next time you’re getting your groceries, think about picking up something extra to donate to the Ottawa Food Bank.

More info on Great Bowls of Fire

Check out the Ottawa Food Bank website  – ottawafoodbank.ca

Fall time is soup time

4 Oct

This weekend was the coldest and rainiest day we’ve had in Ottawa in a long time. It was perfect soup weather! So in the morning my girlfriend and I headed down to the super awesome Ottawa Farmer’s Market. There we picked up some of the ingredients that I needed for the soup. I got one of the biggest butternut squashes that I’ve ever seen, some really cool heritage carrots (they were purple on the outside and organ on the inside, how cool is that!!!) and some freshly picked onions. All of these awesome ingredients went into my favourite butternut squash recipe. I found this recipe in Jamie Oliver’s, Jamie At Home (pg.361, Jamie At Home, ISBN: 978-1-4013-2242-7). It’s a great recipe because it nice and quick and make a delicious soup, nice and squashy! This recipe quickly became a family favourite. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

IMG 20111002 00245

HUGE Squash - Note the tiny teapot behind

Superb Squash Soup Serves 8+


    • Olive oil
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 41/2 pounds of butternut squash
  • 2 litters of vegetable or chicken stock
IMG 20111002 00246

All kinds of veggies! Including purple - orange carrots


  1. Get the biggest pot you have and put it on medium heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Add sage lea
  2. ves and fry for about 30 seconds or until dark green and crispy. Remove them and save them for latter.
  3. The oil is now infused with the sage. Now add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary leaves, chilli and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the squash and the stock to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for around half an hour or longer.
  5. Once the squash is soft and cooked through, whiz the soup with an immersion blender or pour in
    to a standard blender and pulse until you have a smooth puree. Make sure to taste and season until it’s perfect.
  6. When you want to serve top with fried sage leaves.
  7. Serve and enjoy on a cold day!
IMG 20111002 00248

Soup cooling, the spoon was for taste testing!

Finished product - one of many

%d bloggers like this: