Bored with Soup

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by Guest, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Help!  I'm bored.  I have a small deli/market in North East Texas.  We have a busy lunch business and soup is very popular.  I need to expand the soup menu but have a problem with the customers embracing products that are too far out of the norm for this area of the country.  Any suggestions for new menu options?  I would like to retire some of the heavy cream based soups we've been making for new, lighter, healthier, tastier, more profitable ones. 

    We currently rotate the following soups:

    Chicken Tortilla

    Mexican Corn Chowder

    Baked Potato

    Cheesy Broccoli 

    Cream of Wild Mushroom

    Italian Chicken Tortellini

    Texas Taco

    Classic French Onion

    Sausage and Chicken Gumbo

    Chicken & Dumplins

    Vegetable Beef

    Spicy Black Eyed Pea

    Cream of Poblano (most recently added and seems to be well received)

    Butternut Squash Bisque (this one I want to add for the remainder of the winter and see how it goes.)

    Clam Chowder does not fly with these folks. :(
     
  2. gunnar

    gunnar

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    welcome, here's a few ideas. no need to repost the same topic over and over, we are just slow responders. this isn't twitter/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

    split pea and ham

    tomato soup

    mulligatawny - check in the recipe section here

    hot and sour

    egg drop soup

    peanut butter and jelly - ok not a soup, just feel like having one all of a sudden
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Tomato Basil

    Broccoli Blue Cheese

    Sweet Potato and Smoked Chile 

    Basque Rice and Kale

    Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pepper

    Spicy Carrot and Orange 

    Cuban Black Bean

    Succotash

    Lentil and Smoked Sausage

    Roasted Pumpkin and Hazelnut 

    Spanish Almond 

    Chick Pea and Pumpkin

    Corn and Red Bean

    White Bean and roasted Garlic

    Spicy Acorn Squash
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Some great ideas. Thanks!  

    Some will go over great others...while sounding yummy...will not be crowd favorites.  Asian foods seem to fall flat with our customers.  Personally, I love them.

    Sorry about the multiple posts.  I'm a idiot today. :)
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    deleted by poster
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2010
  6. leeniek

    leeniek

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     Hi there

    I'm in charge of our soups and a few good sellers for us are

    Italian Wedding

    Dutch Meatball (for lack of a better name, it's the soup my mother in law makes and if you want the recipe I'll happily share)

    Potato Bacon (topped with grated cheddar)

    Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper

    Carrot and Ginger

    Thai Style Chicken with Rice

    Chicken Noodle (boring I know but I make it from scratch using real chicken and not tinned broth)

    Beef with Barley

    Cream of Cauliflower with Cheese

    Cream of Broccoli

    Green Borsht (we have a Ukrainian cook and this soup is her specialty and is simply delicious)

    Minestrone

    Country Vegetable (plain old vegetable soup.. .you can put alphabet noodles in it to liven it up... I've done that and kids seem to like it)

    Heartwarming Hamburger (sounds weird but it is really good..our servers call it "beef with vegetables" as hamburger soup sounds gross to customers apparently)

    If you are interested in any of these recipes let me know and I will post them for you.
     
  7. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    I'm guessing by NE Texas, you aren't referring to the DFW metroplex.  If you are talking about that area, then disregard my ramblings.

    Aside from DFW, NE Texas is small towns, slow moving populations, and generally "the country".  I've found that while there are some folks that will be receptive to new foods, most people are interested in the "comfort foods" that they're familiar with.  It's strangely interesting that country folks will also eat things that most of the big city folks won't widely accept either. 
     
  8. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    I would love to have recipes for any of the ones above. 
     
  9. momandchef

    momandchef

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    I work at a small cafe in a small central Texas town and soups are pretty popular here too. I have tried some different ones and they don't fly so much here.

    One of our most popular soups is Roasted Red Pepper soup that we put a little shredded Marieke Gouda on top of. let me know if you want the recipe.

    I have also done a creamy spinach soup that we served with shredded Gruyere on top of. It wasn't too well received. (Everyone wrinkled their nose and said "Spinach?!?!") But it was very good. My husband liked it and he does not like ANYTHING remotely green. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif my cowboy likes meat and potatoes.

    French Onion is another popular one, I try to do this one when the weather is particularly rainy and cold.

    I also do a Tomato bisque that I serve with a dollop of basil pesto on top and fresh made croutons.

    Also a Carbonnade that I season with herbs de provence and serve with a slice of toasted baguette with a little dijon mustard on it for dipping.

    We also do a taco soup that is topped with veldhuizen jalapeno cheese. It is popular with the "guy crowd" Plus the cheese comes from a local Texas farm.

    I did yesterday a cheese soup using Tintern cheese. It was eye rolling-ly good.
     
  10. leeniek

    leeniek

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     Gobblygook  I will post the recipes in the recipe section for all to enjoy.  I have already posted Oma's Soup aka Dutch Meatball in the late night cafe in the Soft Foods thread.

    It might take a couple of days but I will have them up for you.
     
  11. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Usually, when I am at a loss for new ideas, the first thing I do is look at what I am already doing and see how I can "rift" on some of those ideas.  So using some of your soups as starting points:

    Baked potato

    -Garlic Potato with Crispy Croutons

    -Potato Bacon

    -Chilled Potato Cucumber  (maybe with smoked salmon)

    -Spicy Sweet Potato

    -a creamy root vegetable soup (with parnsips or turnips or rutabagas in with the potato)

    Classic French Onion

    -Creamy Onion

    -Blue Cheese Onion

    -Autumn Onion (with cider and sliced apples)

    Beef Vegetable

    -Beef Barley

    -Minestrone

    Tomato Soup

    -Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

    -Grilled Tomato Soup

    -Smoked Tomato Soup

    -Hearty Italian Tomato Soup

    Corn Chowder

    -Sweet Potato and Smoked Turkey Chowder

    Spicy Blackeyed Pea

    -Blackeyed Pea with Ham and Collards

    -Split Pea with Ham

    -Spicy Sausage and Lentil

    Often it doesn't take much to completely change a soups character.  Use the same exact soup that you use for your Chicken and Dumpling and replace the dumplings with any short pasta and stir in some pesto and you have "Italian Chicken" or "Basil Chicken."  Again take the same exact base and add some cream and replace the dumplings with cooked wild rice.  Even just changing the garnish can take a soup in a completely new direction.  Take the Butternut Squash Bisque,  garnish it with sauteed apples and a dusting of sweet spices (cinnamon, ginger, etc), then garnish it with a julienne of candied anchos, then garnish it with some fresh cilantro and a drizzle of harissa sauce.  Each way takes the soup in an entirely new direction.
     
  12. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    Thanks so much!
     
     
  13. gunnar

    gunnar

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    I thought the idea was she is trying to stay away from Cream based soups...not that I am complaining as I will steal any recpe...
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    True about wanting to veer away from cream based soups but sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut.  Thanks for all the great ideas - I will be checking the recipe section and as soon as I get a chance I will post mine for y'all. 

    Have a great New Year!
     
  15. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    Yes, the OP is trying to stay away from them.  However, when I looked at the list of offerings, I asked for the recipes I'd like to get my hands on.  Think of me as the thread-thief :)
     
     
  16. lentil

    lentil

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    One that goes well at my cafe is Buffalo Chicken Chili- not really a chili at all, more of a spicy chicken soup topped with bleu cheese and tortilla chips. If you're interested, google Rachel Ray/buffalo chicken chili.    It's yum-o!!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif   sorry- couldn't resist.
     
  17. momandchef

    momandchef

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    I have been trying to get away from cream based soups as well. At one time it seemed like every soup on our rotation had cream in it. I was very happy when I was able to get the "New England Clam Chowder" off our menu. I HATED making that one. Now we just have the cheese soup that is cream based.
     
     
  18. chefmeister

    chefmeister

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    I'd say have less but more quality soups for your clients. I am of european descent. where I am from soups are very popular and are prepared with utmost passion and dedication. in usa soups are not so popular and in many places they are either to creamy or prepared on some quick-style basis from a powder mix of some sort. if you can make a normal soup home made soup well and have couple of them on the menu there wouldn't be a need for such big variety all the time and people would eat it, because it tastes good and have lots of nutrients in it. I am single now, but I do cook a big pot of soup every other week it doesnt take that long and I have big quantity.
     
  19. momandchef

    momandchef

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    I wouldn't say that soups are not popular in the US. Soups are very popular in the restaurant where I work. On cold days we usually sell out. I make all my soups from scratch, no powders or mixes. I even make my own chicken stock every day. I take pride in my soups, and we use the best ingredients possible. Sometimes it is better to use canned or frozen veggies since we cannot get the best quality veggies all year long (not local anyway). We don't do soups really in the summer because it can get so un-godly hot in Texas over the summers, and no one wants a bowl of steaming french onion soup when it is 100+ degrees outside. Well Texans don't anyway. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif