The annual battle for the “Best Soup in Durham” will take place Thursday, March 7th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Durham Convention Center (301 West Morgan Street). Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) will hold its seventh annual Empty Bowls event presented by Olive & Olive, P.A. to raise much-needed funds to help UMD serve over 200,000 meals a year to those in need.
Attendees get to sample soups prepared by more than a dozen local restaurants and can vote for their favorite. The light dinner of soup is a reminder that many people in Durham do not have enough to eat. Local artists and artisans have donated their talents to create over 800 hand-crafted bowls for attendees to pick and take home. There is also a panel of celebrity judges who vote and the evening will be serenaded by Moment’s Notice/St. Ambrose Jazz Mass Quartet.
More than 900 tickets were sold last year raising over $30,000 to benefit the people served by Urban Ministries of Durham’s Community Café.
There are three types of tickets to the event this year. The Hot Ticket includes soup and a bowl for $50. It’s a hot ticket because you can have first choice of the bowls from 5:30 pm until 6:00 pm. There will only be 200 of these tickets available. The Regular Ticket includes soup and bowl for $35. Bowls can be picked after 6:00 pm. Then there is the Soup Only Ticket for $15.00
Children six and under can attend for free, and tickets can be bought online at online.
This year's roster of competing restaurants, and the soups they will be making, certainly makes it easy to justify the purchase price of a ticket. They are:
- 604 at West Village: Tomato Polenta
- Bleu Olive Mediterranean Bistro: Chicken Avgolemono
- Bull City Burger and Brewery: Vegetarian White Chipotle Chili
- Durham Convention Center: Roasted Butternut Bisque with Pear and Sage
- The Mad Hatter’s Café and Bake Shop: Lime Chick and Roasted Corn
- Mediterranean Deli: Lentil Soup
- Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse: Catfish Stew
- Piedmont: Cream of Kale Soup with Sourdough Croutons
- Pizzeria Toro: Lettuce Soup with Brown Butter Croutons and Clabber
- Saladelia Café: Vegan Black Bean Chili
- Six Plates Wine Bar: Sweet Potato Bisque
- The Pit: Brunswick Stew
- Thrills From the Grill: Collard Green Soup
- Toast Paninoteca: Spicy Chickpea Puree with Lemony Swiss Chard
- Urban Ministries of Durham Community Café: French Onion Soup
- Watts Grocery: White Bean and Pancetta
- Jay O'Berski: Artistic director of The Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and teaches acting at Duke.
- Sean Lilly Wilson: Founder and Chief Executive Optimist of Fullsteam Brewery
- Tisha Powell: Co-anchor for WTVD ABC11 Eyewitness News
- Mike Woodard: State Senator
- Johanna Kramer: Food blogger for johannakramer.com