The soup was on in Carroll Gardens!
The humble comfort food was ladled to lofty heights on Oct. 22 when Smith Street’s restaurant row held a soup crawl to return respect to minestrone, matzoh ball, mulligatawny and other soul-nourishing staples — plus spoon golden-ladle awards on the cream of the crock.
Foodies trekked 14 blocks of the savory strip, from Atlantic Avenue to Butler Street, stopping to slurp piping hot lashings of mondongo, pumpkin, avgolemono and other satisfying concoctions from Provence en Boite, Cibao, Raga and other eateries — at a buck a pop to support the culinary arts program at the High School For International Studies in Cobble Hill.
The winning offerings slid down the gullet like silk, and were promptly ladled bragging rights by celebrity judges Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnan Foods, Chris Schonberger of TimeoutNY, New York Farmers Market Program Director Linda La Violette, and Diane DiMeo, chef and winner of the Food Network’s cable show, “Chopped.”
The red lentil soup at Zaytoons off Sackett Street creamed the competition in the veggie category, and Verde, near Butler Street, hooked the seafood section for its lobster bisque (full disclosure: We’ve eaten both the lentil soup and the bisque and they are wonderful).
So what makes a soup hearty? It all boils down to four flavor profiles, according to Adam Shepard, owner and chef of Lunetta off Pacific Street.
“A great soup needs to be sweet, sour, salty and bitter,” advised the gourmand, who should know because he picked up a golden ladle award in meat and poultry for his Italian wedding soup.
Visitors should have left the zesty-fest with renewed respect for beautiful broths, hoped Bette Stoltz, executive director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation which served up the event (full disclosure: Who doesn’t love Bette Stoltz?).
“We’re trying to elevate soup in people’s minds, to put it back up where it belongs as a star on the menu!”
Now that’s food for thought!
Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2529.