Last Tuesday I decided to go to Soupfest, an annual event hosted by Living Rock Ministries (an organization that partnered with MacServe Reading Week 2017!). Living Rock Ministry does incredible work in the city supporting at-risk youth. Soupfest is one of Living Rock’s largest fundraisers and celebrated its 15th year hosting the festival.
Soupfest is a one-day soup festival in downtown Hamilton, where over 25 local restaurants come together and compete for the title of best soup, most creative soup, best display, and most “heart smart”. However the day wasn’t only about soup! The festival had live entertainment, toonie auctions, 50/50 draws, and other raffles and contests. Local celebrities and politicians joined the fun and celebrity servers distributed soup. Yes, a CELEBRITY served me soup! This celebrity was just a Hamilton Tiger-Cats player (sorry, I’m not that into football), but he was really friendly and gave me a generous scoop of soup. We even spent a few minutes chatting about our shared love for dinner!
Soupfest was held on a Tuesday, and it was nice to have a break and do something fun in the middle of the week. The festival was held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, right in the heart of downtown Hamilton. The ticket into Soupfest got you four soup samples, and you could buy more soup samples if your heart desired but since I was on a student budget, I brought a friend with me, and together we tried out eight soups. It was really fun to walk around and see the different vendors’ booths and soups. A range of vendors were in attendance including The Burnt Tongue, Goodness Me, My Thai, Butcher & the Vegan, and more. A lot of the vendors looked really cool and I was able to explore some fantastic Hamilton restaurants to add to my list of places to try out.
All the soup I tried tasted delicious! There was a huge variety, from a simple Chicken Soup, to some vegetarian and vegan options such as Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup. Other creative soups includes soups made with Thanksgiving Dinner with Trimmings. There was a soup for everyone, no matter what your interest!
At the end of the day, I was happy and full! We also got to vote for our favourite ones. Some of my favourite soups from that day were the Thanksgiving Dinner with Trimmings Soup from Fisher’s Pier 4 Pub, the Zucchini, Bacon & Stilton Cheese Soup from West Plains Bistro (shown in the bottom right of the image), and the Salsicca e Mais Soup from Baci Ristorante (shown in the top left of the image). I am definitely planning to visit those restaurants in the near future.
Overall it was a fun day and I would definitely encourage you to go next year. All proceeds go to a good cause, and who doesn’t love some good soup?
A few tips for people going for the first time next year are to:
- Bring a friend or two (or more!). This way, you can share your soups and try soups from more vendors
- Go early. It starts getting crowded later on in the day with families and people coming after work, so if you want to avoid the crowd, go earlier in the day. I went at around 3 PM and it started filling up with more people at around 5 PM.
- Bring some change for the toonie auction, the various raffles, and to donate!
- Come with an empty stomach because that soup is going to fill you up! Also, did I mention there was free bread?
- Come with an open mind because most of the soups are unique and worth giving a try even if it’s not something you would eat every day
I hope to see you there next year!