If I remember rightly, my first encounter with Elaine Mason of Union of Genius (UofG) was when there was a Facebook call for volunteers to help with a mobile soup kitchen.
This petite woman is feisty, fervent and fun with a passion for soup. Asking her why a soup cafe, the reply was, "I just love soup, and when I came up with the notion of a specialist soup cafe many years ago, the offerings at the time were frankly depressing. Thin, underpowered gloop thickened with flour. Where's the joy in that? I've always loved full-on flavours, thick soups, which will feed you and warm you from the inside out. It's not difficult, so why was it so hard to find a decent one each day for lunch?"
UofG feeds everyone, from the homeless to the ‘dietary-challenged’. She is committed to putting back as much as possible including waste composting, rewarding customers to return used packaging (or use their own) and minimising carbon emissions by delivering wholesale soups by cargo bike.
Elaine is a magpie, her ideas come from anywhere and everywhere so has a vast array to gather from for soupy experiments. Suppliers are Scottish and local as possible.
Great respect for a woman after my own heart!
Chorizy y Adobo – sweet potato and chorizo with adobo spicing
1 medium onion, 2 big sweet potatoes, 1 medium butternut, 1-2 chipotle chillis, 1 tbsp adobo sauce (some supermarkets stock it), 5 cloves garlic, 1.5L ham stock, 1tsp smoked paprika
1 cooking chorizo, Dash lime juice, Dash liquid smoke
Rough-chop all the veg, and sauté in a splash of oil. Add chilli, adobo, ham stock and paprika. Chop up the chorizo and add to soup. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40-45 mins until veg are soft. Blend fully. Add lime juice, liquid smoke, more paprika if needed, and black pepper. Delicious immediately, or more delicious if you can wait a bit for it to meld.
Vegan version: swap ham stock for vegan stock, remove chorizo and increase liquid smoke and smoked paprika.
*Liquid smoke is available fro Lupe Pintos in Tollcross
What else is in my basket?
Rabbit, lamb, venison, clams, sea bass, winkles, cockles, sardines, wild salmon and trout, oysters, spring greens, sorrel, purple sprouting broccoli, beetroot, leeks, mint, kale, watercress, forced rhubarb, blood oranges.
Lea writes http://Inthekitchenwithbakersbunny.wordpress.comand is @BakersBunny on Twitter and Instagram
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