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The Soul-Warming Elixir: The Undeniable Benefits of Soup on A Chilly Winter Nights

As the winter frost descends and the chilly winds swirl, there’s one magical elixir that has the power to warm both body and soul: soup. Beyond its delectable taste and comforting aroma, soup holds an esteemed place in our culinary world, especially during those bone-chilling evenings when all you crave is warmth and comfort.

There’s a certain nostalgia associated with soup, often rooted in memories of homemade recipes passed down through generations. It’s more than just a meal; it’s a reminder of love, care, and comfort, making it the perfect remedy for the winter blues.

The most evident benefit of soup on a cold night is its ability to warm you from the inside out. The steam rising from a hot bowl of soup feels like a comforting embrace, spreading warmth through your body and thawing even the chilliest of evenings. There is more to soup than just warming your chilled bones.

Soup Isn’t Just Delicious

Soup isn’t just a delicious concoction; it’s a powerhouse of nutrients. A well-crafted soup teems with vegetables, meats, legumes, and spices, delivering a medley of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Whether it’s a hearty vegetable broth or a protein-rich chicken noodle soup, each spoonful carries the potential to fortify your immune system and keep winter ailments at bay.

Soup also aids digestion. The warmth of the liquid helps in the digestion process, easing the strain on your stomach and making it easier for your body to absorb essential nutrients. While most people don’t think about it, staying adequately hydrated in winter is crucial, the thought of sipping cold water can be uninviting. Enter soup, an excellent source of hydration infused with flavor. Broths and stocks provide the necessary fluids while tantalizing your taste buds with their rich, savory goodness.

The list of benefits of soup, especially in the winter, can be endless. Another example of the soul-warming of soup is the aromatic benefits of soup. The fragrance that wafts through your kitchen while simmering a pot of soup is therapeutic. It invigorates the senses, creating a cozy ambiance that can uplift spirits and chase away the winter gloom.

Another perk of soup is its simplicity. Whether you’re a culinary maestro or a novice in the kitchen, crafting a delightful soup doesn’t require extraordinary skills. With a few fresh ingredients, a pot, and some love, anyone can whip up a soul-warming bowl of goodness.

“The list of benefits of soup, especially in the winter, can be endless. Another example of the soul-warming of soup is the aromatic benefits of soup. The fragrance that wafts through your kitchen while simmering a pot of soup is therapeutic.“

B. Siemon

In essence, soup is a culinary hug on a cold winter’s night. Its nourishing qualities, comforting warmth, and ability to uplift spirits make it a go-to choice for many seeking solace from the winter chill. So, when the frosty winds howl outside, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of soup to wrap your hands around and rejuvenate your body and soul.

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Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

October 3, 2019

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup Recipe

Would you love a healthy and delicious soup recipe? This soup smells and taste so good, you don’t want to skip this recipe. We have included a link to a video to show you how to make it, be sure to check it out.

Tomato Soup is an oldie but goodie when it comes to the family of soups. It is the soup that is easy to make and loved by those young and old. It is also the perfect soup on a cold fall or winter day. What most people love to do is make a grilled cheese sandwich and eat it with the soup. 

What happens when you want to take your tomato soup to the next level? It can be done, and it can still be delicious. It can also still go good with a grilled cheese sandwich. What are we talking about? Great question. Have you ever tried a Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup? If not, you should. It is healthy and delicious. Just the thought of roasted peppers makes us smile. 

Every time we cook this we can’t get over the smell and how it fills the house with a wonderful roasted pepper aroma. Words alone can not describe it. Just for you, we are going to give you the full recipe for this wonderful tomato soup. We also decided to include a video to show you how to make it. You can thanks us later. 

Complete Recipe And How To Make It

You are going to want to start with some fresh vegetables listed below. It is not required to get them organic but it is better if you can. The great thing about this soup is you can adjust the recipe a little for your taste. Let’s get started. 

  • 3 Red Bell Peppers, seeded and halved
  • 3 tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Red Onion, peeled and halved
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Stalks of celery
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 TBS dried parsley, or 3 TBS chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 TBS Paprika powder

Starting with the Peppers, you are only going to use two in the soup, the other pepper will be pulled aside and cut up for a garnish. Trust us, you want this garnish, it adds so much to the soup. 

Next, let’s talk about the onion. It doesn’t matter what type of onion you use, we just think all soups should have onion. Since you are putting the ingredients in a blender, the onion is there for its nutritional value. You won’t really taste a difference between a red or yellow onion once you roasted and puree it. 

„…But I find anytime a recipe calls for any amount of garlic, I double that“


Onto the garlic. If you watch the video, you will learn that we love garlic. We suggest 4 cloves for this soup but if you aren’t the biggest garlic fan, you can cut it down to two cloves. Leave them whole for the roasting, you don’t need to mince these today. 

Spices! We can’t do with out them. The above ingredients list suggest you use 1/4 tablespoon of Paprika powder but if you like it spicy, you can consider replacing the Paprika with Cayenne or Chipotle powder. They all taste delicious in this soup.

It’s time to get the veggies prepared and roasted!

After you get them cut, washed and ready you are on to the next step.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place red pepper, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and celery on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and  rub all vegetables to get them covered with the oil. Arrange the tomatoes and bell peppers with the cut-side down. Bake for 45 minutes.

After the 45 minutes is up you are done roasting. It just looks and smells so good. How can you not love this?

In a soup pan, heat the vegetable broth on medium heat. Add the roasted vegetables (reserve 1 of red bell peppers for garnish). Add all vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes of simmering is up, it is time to put all this into a blender and puree it. We suggest you use some tongs to get the veggies out and into the blender. Then dump the remaining broth into it. It will be easier this way and you won’t splash yourself with the hot broth. After it is all in the blender, blend away.

You will want to blend this until it is a nice puree. Should only take a couple minutes. You can add the tomato paste and other seasonings now if you would like or wait until we pour it back into the cooking pot. The choice is yours. 

Once you are done blending, add the puree to the cooking pot. If you didn’t add the seasonings and spices to the blender, now is the time to add them. You will want to cook this on a medium heat for another 5 minutes. 

Once the 5 minutes is up, you are ready to serve. If you wish for it to be a little more smooth, you can cook for 10 minutes. After you are done cooking it, it is time to garnish this soup with the chopped roasted red pepper you set aside earlier. We also recommend some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy. 

This has become one of our favorite soups. It is great as an appetizer or you can make it for lunch and serve with a nice Greek salad or a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. We know it takes a little time to make, but, we believe it is worth it and so will you. Let us know what you think. 

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What Is Your Favorite Soup

The Soup

What is your favorite soup? I think I have a different answer every time I think about it. My default answer is New England Clam Chowder but then I try someone’s amazing shrimp bisque or potato soup and it changes my answer.

When I was a kid, I think it was only chicken noodle soup and tomato soup (with a grilled cheese sandwich). Like most kids I was a picky eater but as I got older my mind opened and I started trying more of everything. Soup, from childhood to adulthood, has always been one of my favorite foods.

  1. Chowder
  2. Bisque
  3. Chili
  4. Soup
  5. Stew

I found that when I am either making a soup or ordering a soup, I look for the chowder’s first. I love the bacon, shrimp, potato and corn chowders I make, and I love well-made New England clam chowder. Bacon and potato chowders are also wonderful. I think I could talk all day about the wonderful chowders I love.

clam chowder in bowl

Then it happens, I first declare I am a chowder lover.  I walk around The Soup Cook Off and I try someone’s Butternut Squash Bisque. Now the Butternut Squash Bisque is probably something I would not put on the top of my list to make or order when out of course, until I tried it. It was amazing, and yes it placed in the top 3 at The Soup Cook Off. Let’s also pay homage to all the wonderful seafood bisque. I love seafood, so why say no to a crab bisque, a shrimp bisque or a lobster bisque? Saying no would be crazy right? I agree, that is why I don’t do it. 

seafood bisque

Moving on to my third favorite category, would be chili. I have only been to one chili cook off in my life, but it was awesome. My personal preference with chili is to make it spicy. I know, it is not just about the spice but the overall flavor. What makes a great chili is when the base of it is homemade and the ingredients to make up the rest of it are as fresh as can be. Then, of course, add those spices into it. The other thing I like about chili is all the fun names given to them. Usually by the name you can tell if you are getting a spicy chili or not. I have lived in Pennsylvania and New Mexico. The style of chili is different, but I love them both. Most of the Northeast chili is tomato based, you know has that bright red color and is usually full of meat. In New Mexico, it is always spelled chile and the base is usually a stock like chicken or vegetable stock. What makes it great is the chile peppers added to it, you can’t go wrong with New Mexico Green Chile in your chili or chile!

The more I type this write up the hungrier for some soup I get, but let’s finish this then I will go cook. 

Soup, soup and soup. When it comes to just soup, I always love tomato soup. Just like when I was a kid. I love having a grilled cheese sandwich with my soup. Now, a plain old tomato soup is good (and good for you), but I have discovered a Roasted Pepper Tomato soup and I think I am in love with it. When cooking, the smell alone makes you fall in love with it. Add some fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese and voila, it is perfect. When I want my soup to have some meat in it, I can always enjoy a good homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. The store-bought varieties no longer tempt my taste buds … give me the homemade version and I am in. 

roasted red pepper tomato soup

I don’t want you to think that just because stew is last on my list that I dislike it. This is not true. Like all the other soups though, it is better homemade. Without a doubt my favorite and probably most popular type of stew is the beef stew. When done right, everything about it is wonderful. For me, I find stew to be seasonal. I love a good beef stew in the middle of a cold Pennsylvania winter, it is very warming and filling. I am sure I am not alone on that thought. 

Now that I told you my favorite soups, what are yours? Is soup seasonal for you or, like me, can you eat it year-round? Leave us a comment and let us know and of course, if you have a great homemade recipe, I will gladly enjoy sharing it. I am so hungry now, I am ending this write-up and going to make me some soup.

Thanks for reading.

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Soup Cook Off Out Grows 15,000 Square Foot Room

News & Information

The Soup Cook Off has been gaining fans as soup lovers spread the word about the greatest soup fest around. We are thrilled to be outgrowing each venue we move to in order to fit our growing fanbase.

The soup fans have spoken, and we listened.

You know those voting cards you get at the event? The ones that put you in charge of who wins? The back of the voting card features a comment section, which is not taken lightly here at the soup cook off.

My favorite thing to do after each soup cook off is over, is to go over the voting cards because I absolutely love reading the comments! I love this event so much, which means I just can’t wait to hear what everyone had to say about their experience. Since this event is my passion, I am always striving to improve the soup cook off experience. I read every comment.

The overwhelming response from our comment cards was to make it bigger! The last event had a record-breaking crowd at over 800 guests.

Some of the comment cards suggested that we limit the number of guests who could attend. The last thing we wanted to do was limit the number of guests who could come enjoy everything that’s fun about the soup cook off. That would be a “No soup for you,” situation! Unlike the soup Nazi, at The Soup Cook Off, we support plenty of soup for all.

When many similar suggestions came pouring in to allow everyone to continue to enjoy this event, without being crammed in like sardines, it shows how amazing our loyal fans are. We knew we had a decision to make. We were faced with a simple yet complex question. Should we stay small and limit guests or go bigger to comfortably suit the larger crowd. For us, it was a no brainer and we couldn’t be more excited to expand!

From a larger venue to more seating, and of course more soup, we are making our dreams, and our soup fans suggestions, come true. We are moving to a larger venue, which will be double the size of what we could previously accommodate. You want more seating? Done. You want more soup entries? You got it.

If you love choices when it comes to eating, we’d like to invite you to our ever-expanding event. The move to the Carlisle Expo Center will feature more of everything you love about The Soup Cook Off at the same March date we’ve all grown to love.

Not only will this move allow us to fit more soup and chili, it will also give us the space for us to add more fun entertainment to maximize your soup cook off experience. We’ve got great surprises planned for this event, including a children’s corner your kids will love, and new interactive experiences for the whole family.

One of these new experiences we will now be able to offer, because of our new larger location, is a VIP hour. Introducing this new VIP Package has been long requested by our fans. So what’s included, you ask? Our VIP guests will be given a soup cook off mug, soup cook off tray, and will be granted exclusive entry one hour early to enjoy everything they love about the event, with less of a crowd. We are launching this new session at a great starting price, with even more of a discount when taking advantage of our group rates for two or more tickets purchased.

We thank you for your support and can’t wait to see you there.

Soup Cook Off Team

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All Soup, All Smiles!

The Soup
03 March 2021

If you’ve never been to a soup cook off, you’re missing out! Let me walk you through a typical event, as you’ll experience it. You will get a spoon and a brochure at the registration table. Keep your spoon!

Then, you’ll enter the ballroom and there will be chef tables lining the entire room. Each chef has brought their best soup, chili, chowder, bisque or stew. Chefs and restaurants want to win, so they all bring their A-game! You get to work your way around the room, in any order, and taste all of the entries as much as you’d like. All of that soup will make you thirsty, which is why we always have endless free drinks, in many varieties, for all of our guests. We will have coffee, juice boxes, soda, water and more. You may help yourself at any time. Also, there will be a cash bar for those 21 and older.

Chefs have impressive presentations with unique flavors. As you attempt to taste all of the entries, you’ll be shocked at how full you’re getting from “just soup.” It’s not just soup, it’s an experience! One of the best parts about this event is that you are the judge! You get to pick your favorites in each category. This is going to be a tough decision because they’re all so delicious!

If you need to take a soup eating break, we will have music by DJ Squared Entertainment, photographs by Mike Sutherland Photography, a photo booth by NaterPix, and the Senator’s Mascot Rascal posing for pictures. In our new locations, The Radisson in Camp Hill, & The Best Western Premier Hotel, there’s always plenty of seating for our guests!

Come on out to this incredible event for a great cause! We promise that once you’ve been to one, you’ll be a soup fan from now on!

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Why Two Soup Cook Off’s?


The Soup Cook Off is now in its sixth year and has become the largest event of its kind in central Pennsylvania. Prior to 2015, the cook-offs were held the first weekend in March at the Park Inn, and benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

As the popularity grew, The Soup Cook Off creator, Gwen Forlizzi, found it necessary to move the event to a new location and change the date. She explains, “We had a big snow and ice storm on the day of our cook-off last March. We still had over 450 people attend, which was fantastic! However, it was clear that we were going to need a larger venue and a different time of year. We upgraded The Annual Cystic Fibrosis Soup Cook Off to The Best Western Premier Hotel in Harrisburg and it proved to be a huge success! In the future, we will continue to hold our Soup Cook Off to benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at this new and larger location. With the success of this event, we welcomed other charities to contact us and request a soup cook off to benefit them. We are please to announce our Inaugural KMAC Soup Cook Off to benefit The Keystone Musical Arts Center located in Mechanicsburg. This event will be held on January 31st from 12-4 PM at the Park Inn, Mechanicsburg, PA.

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Soup Cook Off Comes To Harrisburg

Soup Cook Off Comes To Harrisburg

March 15, 2015

Best Western Premier

Central Pennsylvania’s largest Soup Cook Off is coming to Harrisburg! After five years this event has grown and by popular demand we are holding a second Soup Cook Off this September.

Many people were upset that they could not make the 5th Annual Soup Cook Off at the Park Inn in Mechanicsburg due to the bad weather that day. Below is all the details! We want to thank the Best Western Premier for helping us bring this great event to the East shore

Online Tickets Sales: Open
$8 – Early Bird Special (ends May 15th)
$10 – Online until September 18th
$15 – At the door

Visit our Tickets Page for more details!

Think you have the best soup?

Chef registration is now open! We are accepting registration for both Amateur and Professional Chef’s! Don’t wait, limited space and tables will sell out fast!
$50 – Professional Chef Registration
$20 – Amateur Chef Registration

Visit our Become a Chef page for more information and sign up forms!

Event Details:
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2015
Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM
Awards: Chef awards ceremony 3:00 PM
After Party: 3:00-5:00 PM
Location: Best Western Premier
800 East Park Dr
Harrisburg, PA 17111

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