Friday, October 28, 2016Overcast 2°C
Eat & Drink

Soupstock 2012 draws huge crowds in culinary protest

Posted by Maggie Vourakes / October 22, 2012

Soupstock 2012Why sit around and simmer when you can do something about it? On Sunday, thousands of hungry soup lovers toted in bowls and spoons to support Soupstock 2012. The culinary protest featured 200 top-chefs soup creations to bring attention to the proposed Highland Mega Quarry. At $10 for three bowls it was a stellar liquid lunch. Here are some of the highlights.

Soupstock 2012Soup #1 - Ribollita by Crème Fraiche
Soup eating is so much better with bread. This veggie-packed soup was like minestrone with bread cooked right into it. The final dollop of sheep's cheese on top added a tart creaminess. It was by far the heartiest soup there. The only thing I'd say is my bowl had a few extra kale stems, but for a rustic soup it's to be expected.

Soup #2 Corn Chowder by Oyster Boy
I was doing a lot of food gawking at this event. But I zeroed in on the soup that had popcorn kernels floating on its surface. This soup mixed corn, oysters, jalapeno, cilantro and popcorn. It reads like the worst combination of ingredients to mix together, but I could have gone for a second helping. The creamy, sweet corn taste went well with the punch of heat from the jalapeno. And mixing in popcorn wasn't a fluke. It was a genius move. I find oysters to be too slippery and soft. The popcorn added crunch and texture. I'm thinking of skipping bread and sprinkling kernels into my next bowl.

Soupstock 2012Soup #3 Potato Leek Soup by Chef Michael Stadtländer
My final ticket bought me a bowl from Chef Michael Stadtländer, the face of chefs for this event. It's fitting that this soup had the earthiest flavour. It was loaded with veggies, herbs and topped with a deep pink beet puree.

With 200 chefs on board there was a mix of traditional soups mixed in with bold moves. A few notable mentions:

Soupstock 2012Best Bowl: There was a lot of ceramic floating around the event. But the best was the bread bowl. Buy one bread loaf, tear off the top, fill with soup and enjoy.

Best Fusion: Hooked and Raw Bar's hot and sour soup with carp balls (sustainable fish with a Matzo ball texture).

Best Story: Azzura's recipe for stone soup is based on the famous children's story. But the stone for this batch came right from the Highland farms.

The soup was the perfect Sunday lunch, but its cause is even more important. The land that the quarry would overtake is some of the best farmland in Ontario. It happens to have a ton of limestone underneath it that developers want to blast for. Not only does the project threaten the best farmland and the drinking water of a million Ontarians, it's an eyesore, the size of Orangeville and deeper than Niagara Falls. You can find out more about the plan and the next steps at the David Suzuki Foundation.

Additional Photos

Soupstock 2012
Soupstock 2012Soupstock 2012Soupstock 2012Soupstock 2012Photo by Gesilayefa Azorbo



Rick / October 22, 2012 at 04:52 pm
George looks baked out of his skull.
My guess is the "sticky-iky" was up in the air during this event.

Truly looks awesome.
Alex / October 22, 2012 at 05:23 pm
I wish this had been better represented. The website was the only place to get tickets and they were no longer available when I checked on Sunday; you couldn't get them at the event (at least that's what the site indicated). You could donate money to the cause but only up to an hour before the event started. Would be smart to put the prices on the hand-outs to inform people.
Amy W / October 22, 2012 at 05:29 pm
The corn chowder sounds like perfection! And it reads like a fairly traditional grouping of flavours. Travelling through South America I found that popcorn was the main stay for putting in soups, and everyone thought the idea of crackers was totally strange.
Lisa replying to a comment from Alex / October 22, 2012 at 06:00 pm
You could get tickets at the event, although the website wasn't clear about it. Perhaps they wanted people to buy them online to avoid having long line-ups at the ticket booths, but they were definitely there.
Chino / October 22, 2012 at 07:20 pm
I cant believe I missed this :(
Airport taxi / October 22, 2012 at 08:02 pm
no worries we will get there next year with great soups and new recipes
Jake Barnes / October 22, 2012 at 08:24 pm
This was an outstanding event - to me, the one I enjoyed the most in Toronto this year. I only wish I were capable of eating more. It helped that the weather was brilliant.

I know the objective of this was to support the anti-quarry cause, so perhaps it won't be necessary next year, but properly promoted, an event like this could be a significant recurring event promoting local restaurants, drawing tons of visitors to the city and helping to create a food culture we can be proud of.
adventurefood / October 22, 2012 at 08:40 pm
although this event was a success. It was very poorly promoted. The ticket concept of 3 soups for 10 dollars created undo stress to people trying to pick which 3 out of 150 offerings. I gave my soup for free no ticket required, so people didn't have to choose. Great relief was what I saw, as a decision of "ticket expenditure" was not required. A 10 dollar all you can eat pass would be more appropriate. How much soup can one person eat?
Me Want Soup / October 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm
Great event. Can't comprehend why people couldn't handle more than three reasonably sized bowls of soup. I tried six. Could have and should have gone for nine. Few of the soups I tried were laksa, lobster hot and sour, french onion with fries and cheese curds. I bought in advance, however, there were plenty of tickets to buy at the door.
Gabe / October 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm
SOUP!!!!!!! Was a great time!
Jer / October 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm
I thought it was a great event. If you didn't understand that there were tickets available at the park you could have checked on Facebook/Twitter/etc and clarified. I don't know how this could have been promoted any better. I heard them talk about it on CBC, Newstalk 1010, saw it mentioned on here and in a bunch of newspapers.

Too bad for those that missed it, one of my top food events for the year. I think the pricing was very reasonable as it was a "donation". I ended up buying 9 tickets as I figured even if I didn't eat all of that soup (or share with friends) it would go to a good cause.

There really was no point to buy in advance. I would have liked the restaurants to have had better signage, it was hard to tell what some restaurants were or what they were serving.
Chandra / October 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm
Congrats, Deron @Oyster Boy!
Tasha replying to a comment from Alex / October 30, 2012 at 02:23 pm
Hey Alex
Tickets were available at the event. Sorry you didn't make is.
Other Cities: Montreal