I would never think of a “Soup Festival” not because Pilsen is small just because I am not really a soup fan or eater ( people eat them before a mail meal but to me one bowl of soup is same as one mail meal).
BUT I love food and any possibility to get hands on something new and different is great and moments spent eating great food, talking about it with friends are even better. And it is even cooler when the soups are made right before you and they are made in huge pots or even cauldrons set over fire- which makes me as fan of Harry Potter even giddier cause they stirred the soups with these huge and long wooden stirring spoons and it really reminded me of Harry Potter potions lessons (tho there was no dark and snarky potions master to comment on it using dark sarcasm). I have to admit that it was at times anoying because the smoke and the soot was everywhere especially when it got a bit more windier, but you can not really command a wind can you? Sou you can only try telling yourself ” anyway the wind blows does not really matter to me cause all around are tasty soups waiting just for me”. Ok that was a bad attempt at making a joke I know but please bear with me.
And it was really fun finding out what was on the menus of the different stands and just watching them preparing all the ingredients and putting them into those huge cauldrons. The last time I was cooking on fire was when me and my sister were camping with our father and that was years ago and I was still a kid and the cauldron was not that big. The smell of the fire and wood was everywhere mixed with the smell of all kinds of soups and I felt really like a child so excited even about a bunch of soups. Me and my friends got a list of the stands on which the soups they were selling were named. Each soup had a little box besides its name because there was also voting going on and you could tick only one soup no more – let me tell you it was really hard.
The first soup I had was Indonesian Coconut Soup with noodles and let me tell you for some reason I am always surprised at how good the coconut milk tastes when it is used in cooking. I quite like it in curry but for some reason I would never think of putting it
in soup but with the turmeric and other spices it was nice mix, tho I did not like the little bits of bamboo shoots – at least I think their were bamboo shoots- but all in all the soup was really good. Tho I have to say trying to eat soup in windy weather can get messy and funny when the noodles keep flying away and your soup is sometimes gone even without you actually having at least a taste, so I just went for drinking the soup from the bowl, which actually felt kinda nice and satisfying and it kept me warm for quite a few minutes. Then I tried Vietnamese Pho Ga which did not really win me over because there were some herbs and everytime I bit into it I knew this was not for me (it migh have been parsley but I am not really sure). The broth itself with a hint of chilli and cooked chicken meat was good but the taste of those particular herbs really was not my thing. Tho agian eating the thick noodles was fun and seeing them flying everywhere even more- tho I imagine it was not so much fun for my friend who was sitting next to me ( getting noodles stuck on you is not that funny I guess). But we still laughed about it so I guess she was not that mad about it and even if there is nothing she could do cause it was not my fault.
Then we had a bowl of pumpkin soup with orange balzamico and basil croutons. Well this one sounded really nice cause it was supposed to have mild spicy taste which I think always goes well with the pumpkin because pumpkin has this kind of sweetness (that is why I like to add freshly ground cumin and black pepper into my pumpkin soup or mash because you also add cream, coconut milk or creamy cheese like philadelphia). But it was kind of a dissapointment because even though I was not expecting the kind of spicyness that will burn all your insides I was still expecting at least a hint of spicyness to go with the nice sweetness of the
pumpkin, but I felt no spicyness whatsoever. What gave the soup nice taste and feeling were the basil croutons cause at least those really tasted like basil and also the orange balsamico, which they asked if you want and of course I did cause I wanted to have it all. The croutons and balsamico added a nice touch and spiced up the soup but on its own the soup was not something I would want to have again just because on its own the taste was kind of bland, more sweet like pumpkin but not spicy as I would expect. But then again I guess it might be harder than it seems to cook soup in one of those huge cauldrons and not be worried about overdoing it
because the amount is really huge. One of my friends also had Aztec soup which was, judging by the looks and taste, made from tomatoes with corn and there were aldo some tortila chips, lime, supposedly also chilli – which I was not lucky enough to taste- and also avocado and some other things. But this one really was not for me. There is something about taste of tomatoes in soups and sauces that is weird to me it is kind of sweet but also kind of bitter or sour and you have to add sugar and fry it a bit or something to get rid of it and when I do it it never works completely. What was nice was the crunch of the tortila chips and corn and also the hint of lime. What freaked me out a bit at first was the avocado. I like it in dips and even in sandwich but when I heard it was in the soup… Well I was like “eww warm avocado?”. But it really
was not that bad tho it had this weird mushy texture but avocado when ripe does not really have taste it is more butter in texture but still does not have any strong taste. The Aztec soup did not win me over but what did was the Indian lentil Soup. It had really nice texture not too watery not too thick, it had amazing sweet taste with just right hint of sourness and there were all the amazing spices and I think even coconut milk. I made a huge mistake not going back again and not getting another bowl and even worse was the fact that I did not try to ask them for the recipe for this one, I could have at least try. But this one was the winner and it also got my vote.
But what made it amazing experience were not just the soups but it was the fact that I was there with my friends. Sharing food with people you like and having fun talking about the food and other stuff is what makes events the best thing ever. I mean when you go alone you focuse only on the food and tasting it and stuff but I think food and experiences related to it should be shared. Food creates relationships and deepens them and it can even create atmosphere.
I definitely think that I will visit the festival again and actually I am looking forward to any food fest that will be here. Food is always fun and food fest is excuse to stuff your face full of delicious food and not having to cook it yourself.