Bloomington, IN: Soup Tasting at the Farmer's Market

This past Saturday was the annual Soup Tasting event at the Bloomington Farmer's Market. The event is free (they do accept donations) and restaurants from around town serve up small cups to the cold market-goers. At soup tasting time, 10:30am, the weather was a chilly 40-ish degrees with patchy sunshine -- which, theoretically, is perfect soup tasting weather; I would argue that I would rather be able to feel my fingers and toes while eating soup :)

Even so cold, lots of people showed up to partake in the event. I was there with some friends and they saw several people they knew. One of the things I am really enjoying about living in Bloomington is running into familiar faces all over town.

Spoons and oyster crackers were provided (I definitely needed the crackers, and even went back for more -- some of the soups were pretty spicy).

We started with a soup from Feast, which wound up being almost everyone's favorite (most of our group liked this the best, and most of the random strangers we talked to or overheard also liked this the best). I thought putting pomegranates on top was a very cool idea.

Next up was a liquid-y soup from Lennie's. Everything I've ever eaten from Lennie's has been good and this was no exception.

My friend Christine was the catalyst behind this farmer's market trip, as it was her birthday, and she wanted us all to come out with her :)

We were all excited to see something offered from the Tudor Room, which is a fancy-looking restaurant in the Indiana Memorial Union. Unfortunately it wasn't anything spectacular (just pureed sweet potatoes, as far as we could tell). I did not take a photo of it.

Nick's has surprisingly good food (for being famous for being a bar), and they offered a vegetable soup that was pretty good. It didn't start out spicy but after chewing for a minute a gentle spice kicked in. I don't usually like spicy things, but the oyster crackers helped me really enjoy this one.

Somehow a photo of the sign didn't take on my phone, but this seafood gumbo was from No Coast Reserve, a new restaurant in town. It was really good but also spicy (someone commented that gumbo is supposed to be spicy, so there's that). There was a lot of seafood in it.

We really like Upland's food (we usually eat there for the food rather than most of the beer, actually) and this soup might have been my favorite. I really like beef stew though. This was different than other beef stews I've had, in that they made it with some kind of ground beef instead of stew pieces. I really liked it.

Function's offering was the other favorite of most of our group. It was good for sure, and might be one of the only times I've actually enjoyed eating kale. (Side note: 3 of the 4 big breweries in town were at this event, all with some of the best soups here.)

This soup was one of the more interesting ones. The soup was doled out, then peanuts and candied ginger were added on top. I liked the peanuts and ginger better than the soup, but it wasn't bad.

Unfortunately for us, by the time we made it to this side of the soup tasting, the Thai Sweet Potato soup from Sahara Mart was already gone. We heard from several people that it was one of their favorites, so we were sad to have missed it. So there are no pictures from that.

I've never been to the Laughing Planet Cafe and this soup was pretty good, but spicy (chipotle!). I downed it faster than any other soup because I wanted to eat it (I don't like wasting things, and the flavor and texture was good) but didn't wish to taste the spiciness anymore :) I used up all my oyster crackers on this one and had to go get some more.

The last soup was from the Owlery and had the most solid vegetables of all the soups. It was also spicy (Moroccan) but tasty. I finished my second cup of oyster crackers on this one.

The farmer's market does various tastings and other events during the course of the year. I recommend putting the soup tasting on your calendar for next year (hopefully it won't be quite so cold -- thank goodness for the sun this year), as well as the apple tasting that happens in October (I missed it this year but went last year). The last Saturday in November (November 29th this year) is the Holiday Market (see last year's here), and once December hits the market goes into Winter Market mode, so get to the outside one while you can!
Bloomington, IN: Soup Tasting at the Farmer's Market Bloomington, IN: Soup Tasting at the Farmer's Market Reviewed by Maria on 10:00:00 AM Rating: 5

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