Soup Truck. It’s an idea that seems to make perfect sense. Ottawa certainly has its share of chip trucks; why not serve steaming hot bowls of healthy homemade soup instead of greasy fries? Jacqueline Jolliffe, a self-professed foodie and environmentalist, decided to combine her two passions into a new business and Stone Soup Foodworks was born.
While dreams of creating a soup empire simmer away on the backburner, Joliffe is working towards two immediate ambitious goals: 1) to launch her soup truck on the ice at Winterlude and 2) to develop a “Soupscription” catering service — delivering 2-litre jars of fresh homemade soup to weekly subscribers’ doors. I met Joliffe on Tuesday evening in the kitchen space she rents in The Causeway Work Centre in Hintonburg. There, she was stirring, straining, and seasoning three different soups for the 20 customers that have signed on since December. There was peanut butter and yam soup; Berkshire chorizo and potato soup; and a white bean, leek, and cabbage soup. She makes everything — including the stocks — from scratch, using locally-sourced mostly organic ingredients.
These days most of her energy is spent working to complete the renovation of the neglected 1978 chip truck with the help of family and friends. It has been a huge challenge. In addition to the external makeover, they have had to install a fridge, six-burner stove, double sink, lights, venting, and plumbing as well as figuring out what will be needed to make the truck solar-powered (a longer-term goal). While it’s all coming together, Joliffe acknowledges she’s a bit nervous about securing the necessary food truck permit in time to hit the ice for Winterlude. Assuming all goes well, the menu is already planned — she’ll offer two different soups and two types of chili served with True Loaf bread — hearty, healthy alternatives to the deep-fried delicacies that are synonymous with skating during the festivities in February.
The countdown to Winterlude is on but Jolliffe seems to be taking it all in stride. “I thought it would be simpler,” she laughs. But clearly, this is a labour of love. “It’s great, I get to do something I believe in.”
For more information, check out: www.stonesoupfoodworks.ca
UPDATE: Look for the Soup Truck on the canal during Winterlude on Pig Island, across from Lansdowne starting Thursday, February 3.