Culture February 3, 2015

A Souper Bowl to Remember


What did the Seattle Seahawks and Robert Barnett have in common this season? They were pursuing back-to-back championships in two of the most prestigious contests of the year.

We all know what happened to the Seahawks. But could Robert defend his title of top soup-chef in 2015? The odds were certainly stacked against him. This year’s battle of the broth had the most entries in Souper Bowl history: 14.

Leading up to the competition, penalty-centric posters hyped up the chefs and judges alike. The officials made it clear that any deflated bowls or illegal soupstitutions would not be tolerated.

After a good, clean game, Robert’s E-Hominy Soup took second place behind Dan O’Brien’s tasty Thai Shrimp Soup. And first-time entrant Jenn Rodrigues snagged third place with her Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

Every single soup was delicious, but special congratulations to Dan, Robert, and Jenn for taking home the highest honors. Feel free to try out Dan’s winning recipe below. You’ll be glad you did.

Thai Shrimp Soup

8 oz shrimp
1/2 cup jasmine rice
13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemongrass
1 lime
1 red bell pepper
1 scallion
1 bunch cilantro
2 Tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp coconut palm sugar
1 1-inch piece of ginger


Peel and mince garlic and ginger

Rough chop cilantro

Take one lemongrass; peel until you get to pliant core, and mince

Peel other lemongrass until pliant. Cut in half; crush both sides with flat part of knife

Zest the lime, then quarter

Cut bell pepper into bite sized pieces on an angle

Slice the scallion into small pieces…separate white from green

Cook the rice (either in steamer, or below)
Heat rice, 1 cup of water and pinch of salt to boiling. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 12-14 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is tender


Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in pot until hot

Add garlic, ginger, minced lemongrass, and white scallion. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Add bell pepper and continue cooking and stirring for another 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add red curry paste to taste (it is spicy, but not terribly so). Cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.


Add the can of coconut milk, coconut palm sugar, lime zest, smashed lemongrass, and 1 cup of water. Mix all together. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes or until everything combines (curry will make a cool, reddish oil-slick looking thing on top of the coconut milk). Do not overheat or the coconut milk will separate.


Peel, devein the shrimp, and season them with salt. Add them to the soup and cook anther 8-10 minutes until they are plump and pinkish. Turn off heat and stir in half the cilantro and the juice of two lime wedges. Remove and discard the smashed lemongrass stalks. Divide the soup between two bowls and add a large spoonful of rice. Garnish with the remaining lime wedges, green part of scallions, and remaining cilantro.