Soup goes by many names: chowder, bisque, "cream of," and so on. But there's something that unites all types of soup - an intangible, almost spiritual quality. Wait, are we going too far? All hyperbole aside, soup represents a certain kind of comfort. It helps to fill in the cracks in your mood, it's straightforward and unfussy, and it warms you from the inside out. We are waxing so poetic about soup because we've recently started selling soup at HubBub, and thusly eating a lot more soup. And it makes our days just way better.
Soup + a fresh baked roll + coffee; isn't this the formula for a perfect lunch? This combo of deliciousness now awaits you at our 3LS and Radnor shops (and is coming to Spruce Street in early 2015). Our selection rotates frequently and includes soup greatest hits such as minestrone, New England clam chowder, and cream of chicken. We'll always have a vegan or vegetarian option each day; meat averse folks: we've got you covered. In addition to the lunch option listed above ($6.50), soup on its own is also available by the cup ($3.95) or the bowl ($4.95).
Like everything we serve at HubBub, we stand behind our soup 1,000%. And it really is something special: always freshly made from scratch by our new in-house chef, Beth Coppersmith. Aside from having a charming name straight out of a Charles Dickens novel, Beth is a trained chef who has been living and cooking in Philadelphia for the past almost 40 years. She's a funny, kind and above all talented person who knows her way around a stock pot.
Beth came to Philly in the late 1970's to study at The Restaurant School. After graduating, she began work as a chef's assistant at a gourmet food take out joint in Center City, where she was responsible for making between 60 and 80 kinds of food to stock their case with. Soon after getting hired, her boss moved to New York, and Beth was promoted to head chef at the tender age of 19! After that, she landed a gig at the Cosmopolitan Club, a shmancy member's only ladies' club, where she got to design specials almost every day. "I’ve always been able to work somewhere I could make whatever I wanted to make," she says.
Then, the big one: a few years later, Beth opened her own place, a lunch spot on Sansom Street called Coppersmiths of Johnstown. The cafe always had a bunch of homemade soups on the menu (foreshadowing!), as well as all kinds of salads and entrees. Beth says that she loved getting to know many of her customers on a first name basis, but, "after about three years of paying everyone else but myself, I had to shut down." From there, she moved on to become the Culinary Director at a firm downtown, where she stayed for 18 years. When the firm recently moved, their new location didn't include a commercial kitchen, and Beth found herself out of a job.
Through a mutual friend, Drew (HubBub's founder and owner) and Beth met and started discussing the possibility of HubBub soup and ultimately decided to go for it. Beth has always fantasized about running her own little soup stand. "This is like a dream I’ve always had...you’re facilitating my dream!" she says. So now we've got her on retainer, making our amazing soups out of a little commercial kitchen in South Philly.
"I’m not a fancy frou frou cook; I’m a homey cook," she insists. "You've got to put love in your soup. My soups are coddled, they’re full of TLC." She also uses healthy ingredients, but never sacrifices flavor. "I’m really into good food," she says. "My life revolves around food! In the morning I’m thinking What am I making for dinner? There’s nothing to me like very good food...it doesn’t have to be fancy, just good quality."
Two fun facts about Beth:
- She is a fitness nut! She wakes up almost every day at 4:30 or 5AM to go to the gym. She does all kinds of exercise but especially loves swimming. She also doesn't own a car and rides her bicycle all over town.
- She collects pig-related things! Including this amazing bike bell, which she says kids especially appreciate:
There's no time like the present (the cold, rainy present) to try HubBub's new soups, and we hope now that you know who made them for you, you'll appreciate them even more!