NetStandard’s annual soup contest is heating up, and the competition? As stiff as the noodles in a good Wonton soup.
Our third annual soup and chili contest featured entries from 10 NetStandard employees from both our North and South offices. No holds were barred: our fierce competitors brawled over samplings of spicy chili, gumbo, potato soup, jambalaya, tortilla soup, broccoli cheddar and hearty vegetable beef stew for bragging rights as NetStandard’s official Soup du Jour.
After two intense rounds of judging, a clear winner emerged: Tobi Darby’s gumbo. Having won last year’s chili contest as well, Soup du Jour Tobi, a Senior Business Solutions Consultant for our Business Applications team, is on a winning streak. Says Tobi of her choice to bring her award-winning gumbo, “I chose this as it was close to Mardi Gras.”
Tobi credits her gumbo’s Food Network-worthy appearance to her husband, who she says was gracious enough to cut up all the veggies and meat while she was at Karate. Another tip from the Soup du Jour’s sous chef? Add in plenty of extra spices for a tasty kick.
Tobi’s award-winning gumbo recipe:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cooking oil
½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
½ cup chopped green or red pepper (1 small)
½ cup sliced celery (1 stalk)
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (optional)
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1 10 ounce package frozen cut okra or cut green beans
1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken
8 ounces cooked andouille sausage, sliced
3 cups hot cooked long grain or brown rice
1. For roux, in a 3-quart heavy saucepan combine flour and oil until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir constantly for 8 to 10 minutes more or until the roux is dark reddish brown.
2. Stir in onion, sweet pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in Cajun seasoning and peppers. Stir in broth and 3/4 cup water. Add okra. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in chicken and sausage; heat through. (Optional – add small cooked shrimp at the end). To serve, ladle gumbo into bowls with rice. If desired, top each serving with sliced green onion and pass bottled hot pepper sauce. Makes 6 main-dish servings.