In the cold, dreary heart of winter, after trudging home from a long day’s work, what better than finding a steaming pot of freshly-made soup waiting to warm your weary soul? How about a fresh pot of really awesome soup made by someone else? Someone else who is a trained pro chef, who sources the freshest local produce and meats from farmers at local farmers markets?
Sounds like a fantasy, you say? It was, until this week, when Nicole Centeno and Brian Chaszar of Greenpoint-based Sea Bean Goods launched Brooklyn’s first soup subscription service. Sea Bean generated a buzz at Smorgasburg last summer where crowds lined up for their soup shots and savory cheddar sables, and now that the Smorg is in hibernation, they’re taking their soups to the streets.
We checked in with Nicole to get the scoop on the soup delivery service.
So Nicole, tell us about the soup subscription service. How does it all work?
We introduced the soup subscription service a couple of weeks ago. We’ll be doing deliveries each Monday for the next few months, until it starts getting warm.
People can sign up anytime – if they sign up by Wednesday in any week their first delivery will come the following Monday.We need the signups a few days ahead of time because I need to know how much I need to make. I do all my shopping at the farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I make the soups on Mondays.
So the soups are super-fresh, and almost all our ingredients are sourced from local farmers at local farmers markets.
Do subscribers have a choice of soups from week to week?
Yes. We’ll be doing three soups each week. One will remain constant for a few weeks at a time and the other two flavors will rotate.
The mainstay for February is going to be our white bean soup with kale, which can be done with or without pork sausage or with or without chicken broth. That one’s been really popular. Kale is great right now – I’ve been able to get a really flavorful variety from Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint. It’s really hearty – a good soup for this time of year.
When you sign up, you choose whether you’d like one quart or two quarts each week, and you select whether you’d like vegetarian or omnivore soups. We’ll select different flavors for you each week based on your preferences so you get a nice variety.
And we can be flexible. We try to accommodate special requests. If someone is mostly vegetarian but they want to try the lamb stew or something, that’s definitely not a problem.
What are some of the soups you’ll be doing in the coming weeks or months?
We’re bringing back our curried carrot and apple with coconut milk. That’s one of our more popular vegetarian options.
We’re also bringing back the clam and leek chowder, which hasn’t made an appearance since Smorgasburg. That’s one of my personal favorites. We get freshly-harvested Long Island clams from Blue Moon Fish. They’re at the Union Square and grand Army Plaza Greenmarkets.
Another one I’m really excited about is our creamy tomato soup with fresh herbs. I pureed and froze a bunch of fresh tomatoes back in August and I’ve been saving them for a wintery day when I’m craving that fresh, summery, sun-ripened tomato flavor.
And the lamb stew – I use a great lamb merguez made by the guys at The Vanderbilt. They source their lamb from a farm in Iowa – it’s pastured, hormone-free lamb, and they sausage they make has this beautiful spicy, heady flavor. We cook it very simply, with a nice beef broth, some potatoes and carrots, and a little cinnamon to give it a little bit of a Middle Eastern note.
If someone wants to sign up, what’s the best way to do it?
What’s the commitment?
If you want just a one-time delivery, there’s a two quart minimum. If you want to sign up for the soup subscription, there’s a minimum four week commitment, but subscribers can get a single quart each week if they’d like. They can get two quarts or more too, of course.
What if someone’s going on vacation or is going to be out of town for a while?
That’s no problem. They can suspend their subscription for however long they want. We can just resume deliveries whenever they’re ready.
And the pricing?
It’s $15 per quart for one quart a week. It’s a little less if your order two quarts or more per week. And there’s a delivery fee that ranges between two and eight dollars, depending on where you are. We deliver in North Brooklyn, as far South as Ditmas Park and as far east as Kings Highway, and in Manhattan up to 90th Street.
For more on Sea Bean Goods’ soup delivery subscription service, see their website.