Soupstock – Saving the land that feeds us

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Soupstock hosted by the Canadian Chefs’ Congress and the David Suzuki Foundation was held at Woodbine Park on Sunday, October 21 to raise awareness for the planned Melancthon mega-quarry.  If you’re not quite familiar, the proposed mega-quarry will destroy some of the richest agricultural and natural history in Ontario as well the livelihood of a significant number of local farmers.

David Suzuki Foundation
David Suzuki Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was the perfect fall day, sunshine and the smell of soup simmering in the air. Crowds started arriving  at Woodbine Park before 11:00 a.m. with their bowls, cups, thermos’ and spoons to support the fight.  Over 160 chefs participated by creating and serving soups made with locally sourced ingredients.

Executive chefs and chefs from some of Toronto finest restaurants, including Marc Thuet, Susur Lee, Rob Bragagnolo, Pepe Hadad, Jamie Kennedy, Anne Yarymovich and Jeff Dueck and so many more were on hand talking to attendees about their soup, ingredients and issue at hand –  the impact the quarry will have on local Ontario food sources.

This event was not only in support of a good cause, but from a purely epicurean perspective, was a chance for foodies and families to savour and sample soups from the best restaurants and chefs in Toronto.

For me, Fall is the launch of big eating season leading up the holidays.  I’ve got a standard repertoire of soups that I make every year – Thai Pumpkin soup, chicken noodle and bouillabaisse which is my birthday gift to me in January. While I enjoy soup, I can’t say it’s a dish that I prepare very often or very creatively.   Soupstock was like spending the day at the soup museum, understanding and using ingredients in different combinations.

There were soups that really stood out for me. La Carnita’s Pig Head Tortilla soup was a thoughtfully crafted bowl of flavour and texture.  It made me want seconds.  The Pumpkin Miso from Furusato was another favourite.

Woodbine Park was an effective choice as an event site. Well organized and planned, lines moved quickly and there were ample sources of drinking water and cleaning stations.

The blessing by Garry Sault, Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation and Danny Beaton, Mohawk Six Nations, Turtle Clan reminds us of what is important. A cause that we all need to be aware us as the risks and implications to local food sources impacts us all.  Happy eating local!

“Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it.” – Arapaho

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