We are so inspired by Challah for Hunger’s mission – to advocate for food justice through a very simple act, baking challahs! We applaud all of their members for dedicating the time to this amazing cause, and for connecting with each other, their communities, and Jewish values through this wonderful organization.
During the summer, we asked to meet with the CEO to learn more about the organization and understand how Soom and our team members can either get involved or partner in some way to show our thanks to their members for advocating for something near and dear to our hearts.
Over the course of growing our company, we have seen a multitude of creative recipes that incorporate both tahini and challah. Some come from James-Beard Award-winning restaurants, some from neighborhood bakeries, and others from our at-home consumers. So, of course towards the end of the meeting, we discussed how fun it would be to team up for an Iron Chef-esque competition that incorporates both our products!
In this friendly contest, we invited current and past members of Challah for Hunger to experiment with our tahini products and explore how beautifully they pair with challah! This competition ran throughout the entirety of September.
But a few questions arose: what rules would we set, what would the prize be, and how would we choose a winner?
We came up with the following:
“The sky’s the limit! We invite you to use your challah to create a dish or baked good that incorporates and showcases Soom tahini products.
Since we won’t be able to taste your aweSOOM creation, we will judge your efforts on the following:
- Creativity of recipe
- Aesthetic (plating, styling, photographing)
- Level of difficulty
After you receive your tahini products from Challah for Hunger, you’ll have from September 4th to September 30th to submit your culinary creation. This includes a nicely photographed image of the dish, the recipe, and the inspiration behind your dish.
The winner will receive recognition on Soom Foods social media channels (particularly Instagram), a recipe feature on our website, a feature in our blog about this partnership, as well as 2 Soom Samplers, our recipe booklet, the Tahini Short Stack, and the Zahav cookbook.”
However, we still had trouble narrowing down how to choose the winning dish. Would the Soom Crew choose the winning dish, or is it possible to bring in a “celebrity” judge? After deliberation, we thought to connect with Shannon Sarma, the incredible Editor of The Nosher and author of Modern Jewish Baker. Not only was she excited to learn of our brands joining forces, but was also honored to be considered to choose the winning dish! It was settled. She would choose the winning dish after the Soom team narrowed down their top three choices.
What an incredibly difficult task that was! The submissions were outstanding. We were so delighted by the creativity of the participants and the time it took to carefully craft such wonderful recipes!
We agreed on three dishes:
- Chocolate Halva Challah Bread Pudding with Tahini Whipped Cream
- Carrot Tahini Soup with Tahini Cream and Challah Za’atar Croutons
- Cashew Cheese and Tahini Bruschetta
Here’s what Shannon had to say: “These are all such good submissions! I am obsessed with the combo of chocolate and halva, and I think the cashew cheese bruschetta is very creative with a beautiful presentation and love the vegan angle, but the carrot tahini soup with za’atar croutons is the winner. It’s the right balance of flavors, between warm veggie soup, a proper tahini sauce and the crunch of challah croutons on top.”
We felt that way, too, and whipped up the soup after it was chosen. It is incredibly flavorful with the perfect balance of spice and heat (we sprinkled some cayenne pepper in it to give it an extra depth of flavor). We loved the extra dimension the tahini sauce brought to the soup and the texture, crunch, and Mediterranean vibe the challah croutons gave off.
Get Sarah’s winning Carrot Tahini Soup with Tahini Cream and Challah Za’atar Croutons recipe and let us know your thoughts!