Soup cook-off fundraiser set

Published 10:15 pm Thursday, October 8, 2015

A nice, warm bowl of soup might sound just right, now that temperatures are cooling down for the season. Oasis Social Ministry will hold a Soup Cook-off and Auction on Oct. 12 at Church of the Resurrection in Portsmouth.

Oasis Social Ministry will hold a soup cook-off fundraiser next week. (Submitted Photo)

Oasis Social Ministry will hold a soup cook-off fundraiser next week. (Submitted Photo)

“I think this year is going to be, by far, our best,” said Burgess Hodges, a spokesman for Oasis. The organization has been holding this particular fundraiser for the past three years, but organizers have high expectations for this year.

Oasis got its start when a small group of Catholic parishes worked together to feed members of the community. At that time, they handed out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They opened a thrift store in 1970, and then a soup kitchen 11 years later.

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“The goal was always to feed,” Hodges said. As the organization has grown through the years, it has been able to serve bigger and healthier meals.

“Anybody is welcome in our soup kitchen,” Hodges said, noting that the organization serves much of Hampton Roads, including North Suffolk communities.

“We try to keep it very casual,” Hodges said, and the same can be said for the cook-off event. Throughout the evening, guests at the cook-off will sample soups, as well as munching on bread and dessert. There will also be wine and beer to drink while performers set the mood with music.

The two performances will be by local jazz band The Dixie 7, and an employee of Oasis, Karstan Stora, who plays the steel drum.

About a dozen cooks are signed up to participate in the cook-off, but Oasis officials are still accepting participants, Hodges said. There will be two separate categories, amateur and professional. “We want to give everybody a chance to win,” he said.

Guests will have a chance to vote for their favorite soup, and the cook with the most votes will be awarded the Golden Ladle award. This year’s celebrity judges include Suffolk’s LaShawn Merritt, along with Judy Cowling, Roger Brown and Erika Nestler.

The event features a variety of types of soup. Last year, submissions included burgoo and lobster bisque. There also will be silent and live auctions.

The fundraiser and auction will take place at Church of the Resurrection, located at 3501 Cedar Lane in Portsmouth. There is no fee to enter the contest, but it costs $25 to attend the event. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Oasis office in Portsmouth.