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Soup Tasting Entry from Nick Armstrong, Indiana Memorial Union Tudor Room

Beer Cheddar Soup

Yields 6 servings


  • 8 oz of slab bacon cut into ¼ inch dice pieces
  • ½ c celery, finely chopped
  • 1 c yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 T chopped fresh thyme
  • 1, 12 oz bottle lager
  • 2¼ c low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ c unsalted butter
  • ¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  • 4 oz smoked cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded


  1. In a large saucepan (4 qt) cook the bacon over medium low heat until crisp. using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside. Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the saucepan with the bacon fat and cook over medium low heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened. Add half of the beer and cook until reduced by half then add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and add the flour, stirring until lightly browned (about 2 minutes) Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheeses and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally again until thick and creamy. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper.


First Place - Specialty Category

Avocado Tomatillo Salsa Verde by Luz Lopez

This salsa is made with fresh organic ingredients and is very common in central Mexico where it is used for tacos al pastor or other grilled meats. Optional: add chopped fresh onion, cilantro, and small pieces of avocado on top for better flavor.


  • 2½ lbs tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 large onions
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 4 jalapeños
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 4 t ground cumin
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 c packed cilantro
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 lime (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Peel and chop the onions into quarters. Place the tomatillos, onions, garlic, and jalapeños on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil.
  2. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes - until the exteriors are blistered but the insides are still slightly raw.
  3. Meanwhile, halve the avocados, remove the seeds, and scoop out the flesh. Cut the jalapeños in half and scrape out the seeds. Discard seeds.
  4. Place HALF of the tomatillos, onions,  jalapeños, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth.
  5. Add HALF of the cumin, salt, cilantro, and avocado. Pulse until the avocado is pureed intot he mixture. Taste for salt. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. If you deisre an extra tart quality, add a bit of lime juice at the end.


First Place - Cooked Category

Jake's Tex-Mex Auténtico by Jacob Marks


  • 20 tomatoes - 10 Roma, 10 assorted organic
  • cilantro, 2 T pureé, 1 T diced
  • red onion -- ½ diced, ½ purée
  • jalapeño - 2 roasted, 1 fresh and deseeded
  • cumin - 1 heaping t
  • brown sugar - 1 T
  • lime juice - from 1 ½ limes
  • garlic - 10 cloves puréed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut ¾ of tomatoes in half and broil on high for 15-20 minutes
  2. Cut 2 jalapeño, ½ onion, 2 T chopped cilantro, sugar, cumin, lime juice and garlic into medium pot. Using hand blender lightly purée until the consistency is chunky.
  3. Add onion and finely diced onion and 1 T of diced cilantro
  4. Drain excess liquid through mesh strainer. Salt and pepper to taste.

First Place - Raw Category

Salsa Del Alma (Soul Salsa) by Elizabeth Sweeney

This is called Soul Salsa because sometimes, eating it is just the kind of experience we need to have to restore energy to our souls: voluptuous heirloom tomatoes provide the body of the salsa, while savory cumin, sharp, hot chiles, and the bright, clean flavors of fresh lime and cilantro leave the palate satisfied. This salsa works well on thin or hearty chips as well as tacos and huevos rancheros.


  • 6-8 assorted heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 Hungarian wax pepper, seeds and membrane discarded
  • 1 Serrano chile, seeds and membrane discarded
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed well, chopped roughly
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Chop the onions roughly and soak them in a bowl of ice water while you prepare the rest of the salsa.
  2. Wash and core the tomatoes. Cut each in half and squeeze out the seeds.
  3. Process tomatoes in stages in a food processor. I like to have some tomatoes that are close to a puree (about 45 seconds) and some that are chunkier. Leave some in large chunks so you can process them with other ingredients later.
  4. Drain tomatoes in a colander for at least 30 minutes.
  5. After draining most of the liquid from the tomatoes, put the larger pieces back into the food processor along with onions, chiles, garlic, and cilantro. Pulse about 8 times, or until the mixture is the consistency you prefer.
  6. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Add spices to taste. Refrigerate at least 90 minutes.