Food For Thought

For those who believe Beethoven, there are some pure hearts in Warren.

“Only the pure of heart can make good soup.”

Thanks to the fourth annual Warren Public Library Soup Recipe Contest, three soups were available during lunch Monday in the Slater Room.

The roasted chicken gumbo and the smoked pork and chorizo white bean chili, both by Aaron Stover, and the loaded red potato and garlic by Brittany Anderson warmed the bellies of those who stopped in while the temperature outside hovered just above freezing.

“I really enjoyed coming here to try the soups,” Cynthia Tucker of Warren said. “It’s a perfect day for soup. It warms you up inside.”

Most of those who tried the soup tried more than one.

“I liked them all,” Victoria Hollis of Irvine said. Her experience with the gumbo was a spoonful of her daughter, Elizabeth’s.

“She ate the roasted chicken gumbo… all of it,” Hollis said.

The meal was a pleasant accident for Phil Gilbert. “I was in the library and I saw the sign,” he said.

“It’s just a fun thing to do in the winter,” Adult Services Librarian Sharon Gage said of the event. “Staff loves it. It makes the library smell wonderful.”

A panel of judges sampled the entries and picked the top three.

Stover’s gumbo came in first.

The finalists were asked to make up a batch for Monday’s lunch. Library staff kept the meal simple, setting out water and crackers, along with soup bowls and spoons.

There was no charge for lunch, but donations were accepted.

Funds from the donations will be offered back to the finalists to cover the costs of ingredients for the soups. Any funds left over will go into the library’s programming budget, Gage said.

There was no shortage of soup. Stover’s recipes yield two and a half gallons each.