By Analiese Paik
Fairfield resident Marissa Latshaw wants you to ladle up some soup love. After working in marketing and business strategy for fifteen years, she left her job in March and quickly came up with the idea of launching her wholesome, gourmet soup company, All Souped Up. “I love soup and always put it on the menu when I entertain. Everybody loves soup.”
As an only child, Latshaw grew up cooking with her grandmother and mother. “Soup is a comforting food” she said. And sharing it with a friend who’s sick, or down, or just had a baby or just plain worn out is an act of love. She’d like to see more people giving soup as gifts, and will wrap gift orders beautifully, and sustainably, in an unbleached paper box tied with green raffia matching her logo.
“Some of my best customers are kids.” Parents are thrilled about it because her soups are made with locally sourced, seasonal vegetables, most of which are cultivated using organic practices. Housemade stocks and additions like cream of cashew enrich the flavors of her small batch, vegetarian and vegan soups, which appeal to a wide variety of consumers.
To source ingredients, Marissa shops the Westport Farmers’ Market, Black Rock Farmers’ Market and will shop the Southport Winter Market when it starts on November 14. She brings her fresh ingredients, soup and stock pots, and Vitamix to Tutto Pasta in Fairfield to do her cooking in their shared-use kitchen during evenings and Sundays when they’re closed.
The day I visited Marissa at Tutto Pasta’s kitchen, she made “Cream” of Broccoli soup with vegetables from Sport Hill Farm and added pureed cashews at the end to add creaminess and an second layer of flavor. Autumn Squash and Apple soup, a fall staple, includes butternut squash soup from Sport Hill Farm, Red Bee Honey, and apples from Blue Hill Orchard in Wallingford, which she sources via Sport Hill Farm.
Her approach is to only put out product that is truly delicious, and that requires a lot of taste testing. “I obsess over the recipes, which is why there are so few” said Latshaw. Black Rock Farmers Market was an excellent venue for conducting market research, enabling her to quickly measure demand for gluten free soups and sustainable packaging options. “People freaked out over my traditional Spanish gazpacho, a soup I’ve been making for years. I never thought to make it without bread.”
All soups are packaged in clear glass containers labeled with the name of the soup and must be refrigerated. Return the jars to receive fifty cents off your next order. Latshaw’s soups are super fresh and currently unavailable in shelf-stable form. She’s looking at freezing as an option for extending the shelf life, but wants it to be environmentally friendly.
All Souped Ups soups are available at Sport Hill Farm where Farm to Spoon soups of the week can be ordered at the farm’s market and Thanksgiving pre-orders are being taken. Orders can also be placed online at allsoupedup.com, at Tutto Pasta and Greenwich Cheese Company.
All Souped Up is a vendor at the new Southport Winter Farmers Market which opens Saturday, November 14, at the Ukranian American Club. Latshaw will bring a variety of soups for shoppers to sample and buy. Soups are available in one quart, glass jars for $22 each, 16 ounce jars for $13 each, and 8 ounce jars for $8 each.