Soup’s on!

An evening of fellowship, food, and church family fun took place Sunday at New Life Ministries Oneonta when 18 church members showcased their culinary skills in a friendly Souper Bowl Sunday competition. With 11 traditional and non-traditional chili dishes, two potato soups, a taco soup, a cheeseburger soup, a vegetable soup, a shrimp bacon corn chowder, and pozole, the judges had a challenging time declaring the first and second place winners.

Using the scale of 1 (don’t bring next time) to 5 (more please), the soups were judged on appearance, texture, taste, and smell. (Sorry, Bro. Jack, but your Sweet Pea Delight just couldn’t compete with the other mouth-watering dishes submitted by the congregation.)

Out of a total of 60 possible points, Kayla Duarte scored 52 points and took first place honors with her taco soup recipe. Runner-up John McRae scored 42 points with his cheeseburger soup recipe.

But the food and fun didn’t stop there.

Next the judges had the difficult task of selecting first and second place honors for those 12 who entered dishes in the sweets portion of the competition. And believe me, as one of the judges, along with Nicole Tolbert and Lamar Tidwell, it was challenging. From chocolate desserts, a variety of cobblers, trifle, a pumpkin roll, and a pecan pound cake, the judges’ palates were pleasantly pleased.

Using the same criteria as stated above, Bonnie Hudson was declared first place winner for her chocolate lover’s delight recipe, a dessert she simply made up as she went along yesterday. Little John McRae scored the second-highest points in this division with a delicious poor man’s peach cobbler.

Even though they all couldn’t earn top honors, every dish was a winner and provided a wonderful evening full of food, great conversation, laughs, and loads of fun. And, it was the perfect time to taste and collect new recipes for the cool days on the horizon.

Taco Soup

Kayla Duarte

Mix the following together in a large pot. Do not
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can mushrooms
1 can Rotel
Chopped onions, to taste
1 pack taco seasoning
1 pack ranch Seasoning
Onion powder
Garlic salt
Next, brown one pound hamburger meat, drain
fat, and add to the above mixture. Let simmer.
Everything is to taste and preference.

Cheeseburger Soup

John McRae

1 pound ground beef
¾ cup onion, chopped
¾ cup carrots, sliced
2 cups red potatoes, diced
¼ cup celery, diced
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 cups chicken broth
¼ cup flour
12 oz Velveeta cheese
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup sour cream
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp pepper

Brown and drain ground beef with onions. Set aside. Boil potatoes, carrots, celery, basil, parsley, and garlic powder in chicken broth until vegetables are tender. Add ground beef and flour. Reduce heat. Add milk, salt, pepper, sour cream, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve hot with fresh bread.

Chocolate Lover’s Delight

Bonnie Hudson

Bonnie will tell you that she does not measure her ingredients, as she goes by taste and texture. Regardless, this recipe is wonderful with a texture that is simply impressive.


Prepare a devil’s food cake mix as directed. Let cool completely and chill.


Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut, and chopped pecans together to a desired texture and taste. Place filling in between each cake layer.


Cook dark chocolate, butter, sugar, vanilla, and a tablespoon of milk over low heat until melted. Next place a few blueberries around the edge of the cake and a strawberry and mint leaves on top for decoration. Pour the hot mixture over top of the chilled cake.

Poor Man’s Peach Cobbler

Little John McRae

8 cups Fresh or frozen (thawed) sweetened peaches
1 stick of butter
1 cup of milk
1 cup of Bisquick
1 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt the butter and set aside.
Mix milk, Bisquick and sugar together and set

Spray 9×13 dish with non-stick spray. Pour peaches and juice into dish. Pour Bisquick mixture over peaches. Pour butter over Bisquick mixture. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Sweet Pea Delight

Jack Decanter

1 can sweet peas
1 can sliced peaches
2 Tbsp. hickory smoke seasoning
1 sliced banana
Olive oil
Lemon pepper

Drain peas and peaches. Place in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Stir and fry. Add hickory smoke and cook for 15 min. Slice a banana on top. Sprinkle lemon pepper on top!

Ed. note: Please don’t try this at home.