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Austin Empty Bowl Project returns Nov. 18 to raise money for hunger relief

Addie Broyles
The Austin Empty Bowl Project started in 1997 and has raised more than $1 million for hunger relief efforts in Central Texas. This year's fundraiser will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Central Texas Food Bank. [Contributed by the Austin Empty Bowl Project]

For 20 years, the best place to get a new bowl filled with soup, stew, chili or chowder has always been on the Sunday before Thanksgiving at the Austin Empty Bowl Project.

The event started in 1997 as a project spearheaded by Kit Adams, the owner of ClayWays Pottery Studio & Gallery, and has raised more than $1 million for hunger relief efforts.

This year, Austin's pottery lovers and best soup-makers will come together again for the 22nd Austin Empty Bowl Project at the Central Texas Food Bank. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18, you can browse through several thousand handmade ceramic bowls, which cost $25 each and include a hot serving of soup. 

This year's lineup of participating restaurants is Cafe Josie, Cielo Bistro Mexico, Chef Charles Mayes, TLC, Forthright, Eastside Cafe, Hoover’s, Querencia at Barton Creek, the Village at the Triangle, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Upper Crust, Easy Tiger, Sazon, Buenos Aires, El Mercado, Guero’s, Hilton Austin, Iron Cactus, Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Magnolia Cafe, Nasha, Sala and Betty, Thai Fresh, the Hightower, the Soup Peddler, Truluck’s and Uncle Julio’s.

If you want an early preview of the bowls, live music and soup tastings, you can buy a ticket to the preview party that takes place Nov. 17 at the Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis Drive. For tickets and more information, go to

In honor of the upcoming event, here's a recipe for a fragrant, healthy corn soup that includes cabbage, carrots and green onions from "The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook" by Archana Mundhe (Ten Speed Press, $19.99). To make this soup without a multicooker, cook the corn, onion, ginger and broth over medium heat for 20 minutes and then puree with an immersion blender before adding the remaining vegetables. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Vegetable Sweet Corn Soup

The grated ginger in this vegan soup lends the dish a refreshing and aromatic spice. Corn is the star ingredient, though, which makes for a slightly sweet vegetable soup. Using frozen corn allows you to make this dish in a snap, and you can save even more prep time by using pre-shredded carrots. This kid-friendly soup is as easy to eat as it is to make.

— Archana Mundhe

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch, mixed with 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup julienned carrots

1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage, green beans, or celery

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine 1 cup of the corn, the yellow onion, ginger and vegetable broth in the Instant Pot and stir together. Secure the lid and set the pressure release to sealing. Select the manual setting and set the cooking time for 8 minutes at high pressure.

Perform a quick release by moving the pressure release to venting. Open the pot and, using an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup until most of the corn is blended, 10 to 15 seconds. Select the high sauté setting and slowly add the arrowroot powder slurry to the soup, stirring constantly. Stir in the carrots, cabbage, green onions and remaining 1 cup corn. Cook until the soup comes to a boil and the vegetables are warmed through, 5 to 7 minutes. Press the cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and season with pepper if needed. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot. Serves 4.

— From "The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook" by Archana Mundhe (Ten Speed Press, $19.99)