Soups for every palate were served at the Coastal Samaritan Counseling Center Soup Cook-off Saturday.
Little River United Methodist Church hosted the fifth annual event and brought home the first place certificate and bragging rights in the amateur contest. Kris Rubin of Little River developed the Crab and Shrimp Bisque recipe and said his secret ingredient is caramelized vegetables.
I think thats what made the difference, he said. He served broccoli cornbread and jalapeno broccoli cornbread to accompany the soup.
Lisa Mount of Little River, who said she goes to the soup cook-off every year, said she voted for the Crab and Shrimp Bisque. Its hardy, flavorful and rich, she said.
About 600 people packed the Life Center at Little River United Methodist Church for the cook-off. Proceeds benefit Coastal Samaritan Counseling Center.
Taking second place in the amateur contest was King of Glory Lutheran Church in North Myrtle Beach with its Taco Soup. Helen Garvey, with the church, handed out the recipe and said her secret ingredient is taco sauce mix.
Receiving the third place amateur certificate was Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church with Bob Woods Mexican Corn Chowder. Spices make the difference, he said.
In the professional category, Clarks Seafood & Chophouse in Little River won third place honors with Chef Aaron Grays Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup.
I chose to make this one because we wanted to do something new and different, he said. Most of the ladies are eating this. The guys dont want to touch it. I think they are scared to try it.
Executive Chef Michael Resnick and head cook Joe Gause of Mertz Culinary Management at Covenant Towers in Myrtle Beach, a retirement community, won second place in the professional category with their She Crab Soup. The special blend included crab, sherry and heavy cream, the pair said.
Winning first place and bragging rights in the professional category was Martini Classic Food in North Myrtle Beach with Chef Justin Gabriels She Crab Soup.
Love and determination are in the secret recipe, said co-owner Paige Harbaugh.
We run it as a special and run it every Holiday and sometimes on weekends, added her husband, co-owner Rob Harbaugh.
Its the first time weve been in the contest, Paige said. Its a pleasure to be part of it.
In all, the 600 people who attended the cook-off paid $7 to taste 23 soups.
One of the more unusual soups was Venison Soup from North Strand Helping Hand.
My daddy and grandpa donated the meat, said Chip Smith, warehouse manager at Helping Hand, who was serving the soup. Its a nice vegetable base.
He said that Byron Ross, a student in the culinary arts program at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, made the soup.
For more information about the Counseling Center, visit www.coastalsamaritan.org.
Reach JO ANN MATHEWS at www.jamathews.com.