Soup lovers, rejoice. Here's how to stock your freezer with delicious soups, without breaking a sweat.
Soup from Local Roots Fine Foods are chock-full of vegetables from nearby farms and local beef and chicken. They're frozen in a flash. They taste better than anything out of a can (no preservatives or stabilizers) and they retain their integrity longer than any plastic tub of deli soup in the refrigerator case.
Local Roots founder Courtney Norgaard got serious about soup in 2009 when her full-time job as a corporate cafe manager was eliminated. The professional chef and caterer hit the stove and never looked back.
"At that time, I realized no one was making soup from local vegetables and freezing them for grocery sales," she said. "As a longtime CSA [community-supported agriculture] member, I've always made soups with the excess produce in our weekly share to freeze for later."
Norgaard, who lives in south Minneapolis, began developing recipes in her own kitchen, then moved to Premier Kitchen's commercial space in New Hope. When her soups became popular, she connected with At Last Gourmet, a commercial co-packer in Minneapolis.
"The At Last Gourmet staff was really helpful as we redesigned our environmentally friendly packaging and scaled up our recipes. They help us connect directly with local and whenever possible organic growers," she said.
Norgaard, the mother of two busy sons, says her soups are especially family-friendly and familiar.
"I learned to make soup with my grandmother, so these are longtime favorites," she said.
When their 5-year-old son, Henry, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Courtney and Joe Norgaard set a goal of fundraising for a cure. They added Henry's favorite soup to the original line of five varieties. One dollar from the purchase of each carton of Henry's Favorite Sirloin Beef Vegetable soup will be donated to Type 1 diabetes research.
Local Roots soups are available in all Twin Cities food co-ops and many area grocery stores. They're also being served at several local coffee shops and delis. The flavors include Creamy Chicken and Minnesota Wild Rice, Red Potato and Broccoli Chowder, Spicy Vegetable Black Bean, Chicken Chili, and Henry's Favorite Sirloin Beef Vegetable, all of which are gluten-free. The Home Style Chicken Noodle features hormone-free and antibiotic-free chicken. Each 12-ounce box retails for about $4.79. localrootsfinefoods.com.