DINING OUT: The Splendid Spoon

June 20, 2013 Heather Chin
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When you see the white spoon logo, you just know you’re in for a treat.

And you would be right. The soups made by the cooks at The Splendid Spoon are flavorful and fresh, yes, but also feature 100 percent vegetarian—often gluten-free—seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and combined in new and unique ways, making Splendid soups stand out from the pack.

Add to that the fact that you can get them delivered to your Brooklyn (or Manhattan) home by bike messenger, and you have the recipe for the kind of beloved community-grown soupery that this two-year-old company has indeed become.

Now that summer sunshine is here, the flavors du jour include “all the soft, fleshy vegetables that you love,” said company founder and French Culinary Institute-trained chef Nicole Chaszar.

Favorites include Tomato with Dill that really takes the soup up a notch from the usual marinara-like tomato-basil variety and Vegan Corn that is similar to a corn chowder in texture but which features the freshness of cilantro. Spring Onion and Spring Ratatouille are just a couple more of the soups on the menu as the warmer months kick off.

Chunky soups such as Spinach & Carrot and Beans & Kale also taste great whether eaten to beat away January chills or to liven up an afternoon out on the patio. The garlic of the Spinach & Carrot Soup is at first bracing, but turns refreshing with the second spoonful, and the vegetables are fresh and chunky, versatile whether chilled or warmed up over the stovetop.

Beans & Kale is also a year-round favorite, with cannellini beans in the warm months and pinto beans in the cold months.

Ask Chaszar whether she had any idea that her “deep-seated urge to help nourish people during the week” could ever turn into a sustainable business model that would be so popular in Brooklyn and beyond, the Greenpoint resident said that she hadn’t been sure at first, but that her “testing ground” at the Brooklyn Flea proved to be just the confidence and business boost she had needed.

“Within a couple of weeks of doing the market and selling out, figuring out our production schedule and people asking for the same flavors over and over again, it was pretty instantaneous that I felt we had something we could do,” she said.

The soups were briefly made out of the kitchens at Hellboy Pizza and Paulie Gees, but now Chaszar and her small staff create the soups out of the Organic Food Incubator in Long Island City, where their inspiration remains the same as it always has.

“Right now we are focused on helping people eat healthfully when they can’t do it themselves,” said the new mom. “Someday, we would love to have a storefront, but right now. . . bike messengers are green and able to get around traffic easily, even after Sandy. It is really nice to be able to deliver to [places] where they don’t have much food options.”

What does the soupmaker choose to eat herself? “I love the Asparagus,” said Chaszar, before thinking a moment and adding that she “also love(s) the Mushroom Soup we’re making today.”

We tried the Asparagus Soup and were surprised at how it managed to be creamy despite not having any cream, the light green concoction going well with everything from bread—options include gluten, nut, corn, soy and sugar-free rolls gleaned from a partnership with fellow food incubator business Free Bread—and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or some black pepper and a dollop of cream or piece of fish.

A bonus? If you haven’t eaten every last drop within an hour, then all the soups are still delicious the next day.

THE SPLENDID SPOON

125 Green Street, Brooklyn

www.thesplendidspoon.com

347-871-7687

[email protected]


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