After 109 days and nearly 29,000 votes, we are pleased to announce the third annual Soup Challenge finalists in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest regions! Three of the five finalists for each region qualified by having the greatest number of votes and two finalists were selected by the judges based on creativity of their recipe alone. The judges had an extremely tough time picking the last two finalists, as all the entries looked and sounded fabulous. The Soup Challenge final competitions are coming up in the Northeast at Newbury College in Brookline, MA on March 23rd, then on April 6th for the Southeast at the Art Institute of Atlanta and Midwest at Illinois Central College in Peoria. Here are the finalists!

Soup Challenge Northeast Finalists

Spicy Egg Drop Soup with Spinach & Orzo

By: Sharon
Region: Northeast
Soup Group: Vegetarian
Competing Against: Caribbean Black Bean

“My goal in creating this soup was to come up with an egg soup that also includes veggies and grains so that it could be served as a meal in itself. This hearty soup is so easy to make that it can be a served for a week-night dinner but it is also elegant enough for company.”

Cheeseburger Chowder

By: Chantal
Region: Northeast
Soup Group: Cream-Based
Competing Against: Chicken Corn Chowder 

“Over the past few years my family has needed to change their diets due for their health. I myself need to reduce salt where I can and my mom has celiac disease. Others need to watch their sugar intake or have allergies to shellfish or lactose. When cooking a large meal for everyone, I try to take all these restrictions into consideration. I choose ingredients that do not contain lactose, gluten and use smaller amounts of things that might contain sodium, and I do not add salt. I choose more flavorful sharp cheddar in this recipe so I do not need to add as much. My family loves this soup because it does not feel like they are missing anything. Cheeseburger soup is not my original idea, but this diet restriction friendly version is. I hope you like it.”

Old Country Creamy Potato And Sausage Soup

By: Jasmin
Region: Northeast
Soup Group: Cream-Based
Competing Against: New England Clam Chowder

“I recently spent a week in Germany where I tried an amazing potato soup (loaded with cream, several kinds of smoked meats and definitely packed with flavor). Returning home, I was inspired to try to replicate it in the kitchen, but a healthier version. By using lots of fresh vegetables and herbs, and substituting reduced fat/sodium ingredients (like turkey kielbasa for the sausage and condensed milk instead of cream) for more traditionally high fat items, this soup is still hearty, satisfying and delicious. Try it with a good, crusty European bread or a fresh green salad for lunch or a light supper.”

African Peanut Soup

By: Robin
Region: Northeast
Soup Group: Vegetarian
Competing Against: Caribbean Black Bean

“I love surprising my family- standing at the stove adding a colorful variety of ingredients while the look on in wonder- “what is that going to taste like??” And then when it’s finally served- DELICIOUS!
I love playing with the intense flavor of ginger, plus peanut butter and tomatoes- so interesting and tasty!”

Couscous Tabbouleh Soup

By: Joan
Region: Northeast
Soup Group: Vegetarian
Competing Against: Lentil

“This is basically my take on tabbouleh made into a soup. The idea is to retain the freshness of that salad along with providing a hearty soup component, as well as a Near Eastern element with the couscous. I prefer it best at room temperature.”

Soup Challenge Midwest Finalists

Urban Taqueria Black Bean Soup

By: Weston
Region: Midwest
Soup Group: Vegetarian
Competing Against: Caribbean Black Bean

“This recipe is a nod to all of the amazing Taquerias (taco stands) you find in the summer around Chicago. Being a Vegetarian, I would order a taco with beans instead of meat. There was always this burst of flavor that came with the taco (not to mention the amazing aroma that comes from the Taqueria). The mixture of the cilantro, onion, green pepper, and red pepper… Oh so delightful! Well of course in Chicago we get ridiculously cold winters and the taco stands disappear. I wanted to create a hearty warm soup that could fill the void that appears every winter when the taco stands (and myself) go into hibernation. Well I did and the Urban Taqueria Black Bean Soup was born! It’s a soup that’s hearty enough for a meat eater, perfect for a vegetarian, and mimics the robust taste of a Taqueria perfectly.

Home-style Salmon And Bean Soup

By: Suellen
Region: Midwest
Soup Group: Meat Protein
Competing Against: Nana’s Chicken Soup

“My husband and I lived overseas doing humanitarian aid work and were surrounded by local farmers and fishermen. With these, we only made and served what was available at the time. Since arriving back to the U.S. I have tried to create recipes that were close to my favorites while keeping to local, clean and healthy. Family and friends all take a part in our kitchen when it comes to cooking and if not here we take it with us for gatherings.”

Twisted Italy Chicken Soup

By: Dianna

Region: Midwest
Soup Group: Meat Protein
Competing Against: Chicken Pomodoro

“Being a girl born & raised in the Midwest, there is nothing more satisfying that using veggies straight from my garden! My garden is the inspiration behind this soup! Just picked, ripe & juicy tomatoes are the base for this soup. Let’s not forget the onions, peppers, garlic, spinach, and basil all fresh grown. This soup is like eating a cup full of my garden! The orange adds just a nice twist of something special in this soup.”

Roasted Chicken And Veggie Cheese Chowder

By: Elizabeth
Region: Midwest
Soup Group: Cream-Based
Competing Against: Chicken Corn Chowder

“This soup came to be on a very cold winter day. Warm and satisfying with lots of healthy ingredients, it is also surprisingly easy and inexpensive to make. The roasting step adds a lot of flavor without adding much time and this recipe can easily be adapted to use whatever veggies are on hand. The yummy, cheesy broth makes it a big hit with kids- they won’t even notice that it is a vegetable soup! My little sister (who normally despises cauliflower) loves it and says it makes her all warm and happy inside!”

It Ain’t Easy Being Green ~ Broccoli & Spinach Cheese Soup

By: Amy
Region: Midwest
Soup Group: Cream-Based
Competing Against: Chicken Corn Chowder

“One of my dad’s favorite soups is broccoli and cheese, but the complaint has always been that any time he orders it when eating out it’s a cheese soup with a few pieces of broccoli thrown in. This soup makes Broccoli the star of the show, with spinach added for a really brilliant green color and flavor, and the cheese is to ‘cream’ it up. Enjoy!”

Soup Challenge Southeast Finalists

Mama’s Greek Penicillin

By: Debra
Region: Southeast
Soup Group: Meat Protein
Competing Against: Nana’s Chicken Soup

“My daughter had cancer when she was 11 years old (Ewing’s Sarcoma PpNet). When we would come home after a round of chemo, she would want her favorite soup-Greek Lemon Soup- and we would go out to eat it together. After a while, I learned how to make it for her, and then she would only eat mine. Even now, when she gets sick (now 24 years old), she wants a pot of my soup. I’ve made it for others since then; I’ve been told it works miracles!”

Comfortly Southern Turnip Green With Ham Soup

By: Angela
Region: Southeast
Soup Group: Meat Protein
Competing Against: Nana’s Chicken Soup

“I love to revamp leftovers and give them new life. One cold day I had leftover turnip greens and white northern beans. I stood at the refrigerator, hands on hips wondering what I could do with these two items. Previously I had eaten a turnip green based soup at a restaurant in Savannah GA. That memory combined with the leftovers and viola…my new soup was born. It has now developed into one of my friends and family’s favorite meals. Nothing more comforting and delicious on a cold day or any day is my Turnip Green with Ham soup. It is easily adapted to many tastes…omit ham and you have a vegetarian soup. Lessen the spice or up the spice. This recipe is great at becoming your own.”

Creamy Italian Roasted Pepper Soup

By: Debbie
Region: Southeast
Soup Group: Cream-Based
Competing Against: Yankee White Bean

“This is a thick, creamy and hearty soup with a delicious combination of flavors. It is a snap to put together and have on your dinner table quickly at the end of a busy day.”

Wonton Meatball Soup

By: Josee
Region: Southeast
Soup Group: Meat Protein
Competing Against: Sweet Chicken Curry

“I love Chinese food and my husband loves Italian food. So with both of us in mind I took my favorite soup the wonton soup and his favorite soup Italian meatball soup and combined the flavors of both soup together and created the most delicious soup you will ever eat! Try it out you are going to love this soup. “

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

By: Cheryl
Region: Southeast
Soup Group: Cream-Based
Competing Against: Chicken Corn Chowder

“I fell in love with gnocchi on a trip to Italy. It was served so many ways with so many sauces. It was always comforting and creamy. I wanted to use gnocchi in a soup so I created Chicken Gnocchi Soup. It is hearty, warm and takes me back to a wonderful place and time in my memory.”