When the days shorten, and the temperature drops, I find myself reaching for dishes that warm my body and soul. And while health food is likely not the first thing to come to mind when your thinking comfort classics, I think it can definitely apply with soup. McEwan’s comforting refrigerated soups are hearty, made from scratch and surprisingly good for you.
Many of their options are packed with antioxidant rich vegetables, high fibre whole grains and low-fat proteins like beans, and are guaranteed to be stick-to-your-ribs good.
When I asked Mark where the inspiration for the soup line came from, he told me simply, “I have always loved a good soup. They remind me of my childhood and are comforting on the coldest day. We have had great success with the different varieties of soups at the restaurants, so it seemed like a great idea to round out our offer of prepared foods with simple soup recipes. Do to the wide range and tastes of our clientele, we have kept them very simple so that once brought home, more ingredients or seasonings can be added to them to create a new household favourite.” This way, you get that “home-made” feeling while the chefs at McEwan have done the difficult “home-made” work for you!
Each morning, they round up about 16 L of fresh McEwan’s produce from the store, simmer them with the flavour base and their house-made stock, and then finish it off with delicious fresh herbs, cream, natural sweeteners or white truffles. It takes as many as four different taste testers to make sure the seasoning is right, a job I doubt they’ve ever had a hard time filling! Finally, the soup is gently pasteurized to help you savour it even longer at home despite how quickly it usually disappears in mine.
With such care and attention given to the cooking process in each of McEwan’s soups, it’s so great to know that there’s something for every preference and dietary restriction. The McEwan Group’s Executive chef, Andrew Ellerby told me that at any time, they will stock approximately 8-10 rotating soups with a few staples like their Chicken Noodle and Cream of Mushroom Truffle.
This means there are plenty of options for customers seeking out gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian or vegan options. And regardless of what flavour you choose, because they’re all preservative and additive free with no artificial flavours, Chef Ellerby says you can rest assured, “you can pronounce every ingredient going in.”
McEwan’s soups are also great for those hoping not to head into the holidays looking like a stuffed turkey. Research suggests that when you start a meal with a broth based soup, like McEwan’s Red Beet, Minestrone, or Chicken Noodle, you actually end up eating fewer calories overall as the excess water content tricks your stomach into feeling full! So before heading off to a food-and-wine filled party this holiday season, try having a bowl of McEwan’s soup before you go, and you may be better equipped to resist that second slice of pie!
They are available year round in the refrigerator with seasonal specials like Butternut Squash, Veggie Chili, and Clam Chowder. So next time you’re looking to warm up on one of our balmy autumn nights- tuck into a bowl, fill up without filling out!
ABBEY SHARP, RD
OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN
[Photo credit: Jeffrey Chan]