In Montreuil-sur-Mer and its surroundings, the soups are so linked to local tradition they have their own event: le Festival des Soupes et Pains (the Festival of Soups and Breads.)
This wonderful traditional celebration of heritage and gastronomy is held on the last Sunday of each October every year either in the town of Montreuil-sur-Mer or (every other year) in a town close by.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to discover some of the specialities of the north – there are around 50 different types of soup to try and wonderful fresh cooked breads on offer from local boulangeries.
There is also entertainment – stalls selling local produce, games to play, dancing, singing and bands, exhibitions by talented local and regional artists and demonstrations by specialists from the world of cuisine.
Everyone is encouraged to vote for their favourite soup – which of course means trying as many soups as possible.
The festival takes place at the wonderful Citadel of Montreuil-sur-Mer on years with an uneven number (eg 2013, 2015) and outside of Montreuil in between.
It’s a lively and popular event with thousands usually in attendance – a really great day out at an authentic and fun local festival just 30 minutes from Calais port.
The whole thing kicks off at 10h and goes on until 18h, But do check at the tourist office in advance as there are some years when it’s not held….