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St. Croix Gets In The Soup For A Good Cause

Dec. 14, 2008 — Soup cures what ails you, and man soup, bull foot soup, fish soup, crab soup, conch water, kallaloo, sanrocho and more wholesome, brothy delights went head to head for cold, hard cash Saturday at Chenay Bay for the Soup-du-Cure fundraiser benefiting Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital.
Chefs and home cooks across St. Croix brought in huge pots of their prize recipes, serving up bowl after steaming bowl to the gathered throng, while the music of Kurt Schindler and Juni Bomba entertained the crowd.
"We wanted to do something to help the community hospital," said Rashidi Clenance of Sunstroke Productions, who organized the event as part of this year's Christmas festival. "It's helping the hospital, it promotes our culture and is a cross-cultural event, with entries from all over."
Diners paid $15, with the money, after prizes, going to the hospital.
Phillip David, chef at Chenay Bay, was serving up hearty man soup, with mussels, fish, conch and all manner of seafood in a rich, thick stew.
"It puts strength in a man's back," David said, when asked how the traditional Caribbean soup got its name. "The broth is key to man soup and takes time to make."
There were two Puerto Rican holiday favorites. Luz and Sammy Sierra of St. Croix offered el sanrocho criollo boricua, the Puerto Rican version of the Latin classic. "It's a beef soup and we put in plantain, green banana and all kind of provision," Luz said. "It's something we do for the holidays and special occasions, especially on the New Year."
Ive and Carlos Lisse showcased sopón Navideño, or Puerto Rican Christmas soup; a flavorful, brothy chicken soup with rice, green banana, chilies, pigeon peas, cilantro, garlic and more.
Jonathan Cohen, owner of Isle 95 radio station, entered a Maryland style crab soup, with beans, tomato, carrots and other vegetables in a light broth with some Old Bay and a touch of something sweet. "It's a nearly 100 year old recipe," Cohen said. "My grandfather made it all the time when I was a kid."
Joe Miller, a tourist from Atlanta, visiting St. Croix for the first time, gave a thumbs-up to the experience.
"It's wonderful for me and my wife to come here and have a chance to really feel how local people on St. Croix do their cuisine," he said. "The fish, the seafood, everything has a flavor you cannot get back home. There is such a variety, from mussels to red pea, and multitudes of others so this is really an extra bonus on my stay."
Rose Daniel served up a traditional bull foot soup, with just a hint more spicy chili pepper than most.
"Mine is bull foot with a kick," said Daniel. "My husband loves it," "He says, 'Peaches' — he calls me Peaches – 'see those little feet holding up that huge bull? Look at the power in those tiny feet. No wonder it's good.'"
Diane Rogers, who runs a hot dog stand on weekends at Altona Lagoon, served up both bull foot soup and a distinctive fresh fish soup.
Clint Ferris of St. Croix offered up a different take on beef.
"Mine is a peppered pumpkin and beef soup," Ferris said. "I use oxtail, salt beef, beef bones for the stock, and stew beef. … The oxtail has the sliver of fat to give it the right flavor, and a little peppered pumpkin gives it some richness."
Troy Patterson from the Deep End Bar, took time off from tending bar to serve up a couple entries, including their version of conch water, or sopa de caracola, finishing each serving with a bit of minced conch, coconut, cilantro, garlic chives, and a squeeze of lime, giving the light, flavorful broth, a blast of freshness. The Deep End also entered Troy Patterson serving, from the Deep End.
Representing Margarita's Restaurant, which was open today and could not spare anyone from their post, T Gerhard Steven, a student at Educational Complex, was serving kallaloo from the restaurant. The soup's maker; Khaleed Lang, had to mind the stove at work on Saturday night.
In each small cup, Steven placed a heaping spoonful of cornmeal fungi, like polenta with okra and onions, in the bottom, then ladled the rich, dark green kallaloo; a thick stew made mostly of the spinach-like kallaloo greens, along with pork, seafood, herbs and spices.
Corine Dopwell served up a vegetarian mushroom, pumpkin coconut soup, with sweet potato and coconut dumplings, rich and hearty, with a little earthiness and a little sweetness, and a texture between that of a meatball and a flour dumpling.
"The recipe goes back to my grandparents," she said. Dopwell has a food van during the week in the area of the Watergut bus shanty.
Juliana Sheridan served a bright-yellow pumpkin with chicken, also packed with flavor.
"I must say all these soups are great," said Hugh Clarke, a beekeeper in Wheel of Fortune. "I think it is impossible to come up with a winner. You can't compare bull foot soup with kallaloo and say which is best.
"But it's an excellent promotion for tourists and local people to taste recipes from the different islands," he said. "Everybody is here; Puerto Ricans, Crucians, people from the States, Trini folks, St. Lucians."
As the judges tallied their scores, third place was initially tied between a sweet potato soup from H2O restaurant, Teresa Daniel's bull foot soup and Diane Rogers' fish soup. Rogers won the third place cash prize of $250 after a second round of tasting. Second prize of $500 went to Edwin Thomas for his pork kallaloo.
And the grand prize of $1,000 went to Margarita's Restaurant for their red pea soup.

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Dec. 14, 2008 -- Soup cures what ails you, and man soup, bull foot soup, fish soup, crab soup, conch water, kallaloo, sanrocho and more wholesome, brothy delights went head to head for cold, hard cash Saturday at Chenay Bay for the Soup-du-Cure fundraiser benefiting Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital.
Chefs and home cooks across St. Croix brought in huge pots of their prize recipes, serving up bowl after steaming bowl to the gathered throng, while the music of Kurt Schindler and Juni Bomba entertained the crowd.
"We wanted to do something to help the community hospital," said Rashidi Clenance of Sunstroke Productions, who organized the event as part of this year's Christmas festival. "It's helping the hospital, it promotes our culture and is a cross-cultural event, with entries from all over."
Diners paid $15, with the money, after prizes, going to the hospital.
Phillip David, chef at Chenay Bay, was serving up hearty man soup, with mussels, fish, conch and all manner of seafood in a rich, thick stew.
"It puts strength in a man's back," David said, when asked how the traditional Caribbean soup got its name. "The broth is key to man soup and takes time to make."
There were two Puerto Rican holiday favorites. Luz and Sammy Sierra of St. Croix offered el sanrocho criollo boricua, the Puerto Rican version of the Latin classic. "It's a beef soup and we put in plantain, green banana and all kind of provision," Luz said. "It's something we do for the holidays and special occasions, especially on the New Year."
Ive and Carlos Lisse showcased sopón Navideño, or Puerto Rican Christmas soup; a flavorful, brothy chicken soup with rice, green banana, chilies, pigeon peas, cilantro, garlic and more.
Jonathan Cohen, owner of Isle 95 radio station, entered a Maryland style crab soup, with beans, tomato, carrots and other vegetables in a light broth with some Old Bay and a touch of something sweet. "It's a nearly 100 year old recipe," Cohen said. "My grandfather made it all the time when I was a kid."
Joe Miller, a tourist from Atlanta, visiting St. Croix for the first time, gave a thumbs-up to the experience.
"It's wonderful for me and my wife to come here and have a chance to really feel how local people on St. Croix do their cuisine," he said. "The fish, the seafood, everything has a flavor you cannot get back home. There is such a variety, from mussels to red pea, and multitudes of others so this is really an extra bonus on my stay."
Rose Daniel served up a traditional bull foot soup, with just a hint more spicy chili pepper than most.
"Mine is bull foot with a kick," said Daniel. "My husband loves it," "He says, 'Peaches' -- he calls me Peaches – 'see those little feet holding up that huge bull? Look at the power in those tiny feet. No wonder it's good.'"
Diane Rogers, who runs a hot dog stand on weekends at Altona Lagoon, served up both bull foot soup and a distinctive fresh fish soup.
Clint Ferris of St. Croix offered up a different take on beef.
"Mine is a peppered pumpkin and beef soup," Ferris said. "I use oxtail, salt beef, beef bones for the stock, and stew beef. … The oxtail has the sliver of fat to give it the right flavor, and a little peppered pumpkin gives it some richness."
Troy Patterson from the Deep End Bar, took time off from tending bar to serve up a couple entries, including their version of conch water, or sopa de caracola, finishing each serving with a bit of minced conch, coconut, cilantro, garlic chives, and a squeeze of lime, giving the light, flavorful broth, a blast of freshness. The Deep End also entered Troy Patterson serving, from the Deep End.
Representing Margarita's Restaurant, which was open today and could not spare anyone from their post, T Gerhard Steven, a student at Educational Complex, was serving kallaloo from the restaurant. The soup's maker; Khaleed Lang, had to mind the stove at work on Saturday night.
In each small cup, Steven placed a heaping spoonful of cornmeal fungi, like polenta with okra and onions, in the bottom, then ladled the rich, dark green kallaloo; a thick stew made mostly of the spinach-like kallaloo greens, along with pork, seafood, herbs and spices.
Corine Dopwell served up a vegetarian mushroom, pumpkin coconut soup, with sweet potato and coconut dumplings, rich and hearty, with a little earthiness and a little sweetness, and a texture between that of a meatball and a flour dumpling.
"The recipe goes back to my grandparents," she said. Dopwell has a food van during the week in the area of the Watergut bus shanty.
Juliana Sheridan served a bright-yellow pumpkin with chicken, also packed with flavor.
"I must say all these soups are great," said Hugh Clarke, a beekeeper in Wheel of Fortune. "I think it is impossible to come up with a winner. You can't compare bull foot soup with kallaloo and say which is best.
"But it's an excellent promotion for tourists and local people to taste recipes from the different islands," he said. "Everybody is here; Puerto Ricans, Crucians, people from the States, Trini folks, St. Lucians."
As the judges tallied their scores, third place was initially tied between a sweet potato soup from H2O restaurant, Teresa Daniel's bull foot soup and Diane Rogers' fish soup. Rogers won the third place cash prize of $250 after a second round of tasting. Second prize of $500 went to Edwin Thomas for his pork kallaloo.
And the grand prize of $1,000 went to Margarita's Restaurant for their red pea soup.

Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.