Let’s say the rain is coming at you sideways. Or it’s dry, but so dark! Or it’s pouring AND dark. Craving something warm, something with flavor? You might just say it’s SOUP TIME!
The soup is ALWAYS on in the six Town & Country markets—Ballard Market, T&C Market Lakemont, T&C Market Bainbridge Island and Central Markets in Shoreline, Mill Creek and Poulsbo. Each of these markets has a soup bar, ranging from four to 14 wells depending on the size of the market.
All the soups are branded “Our Own” because the recipe for each is owned by T&C, and made exclusively for them, according to their specifications, by a trusted vendor partner.
The selection rotates and evolves—ranging from hearty and meaty to vegan and vegetarian (and making a good vegan soup is no small feat!). The selection also includes authentic world flavors—like Spicy African Peanut Soup and Argentinian Asparagus Soup.
“Of the 100-plus gallons of soup that are consumed each week, Clam Chowder is the most popular,” said Cameron Maddy, Culinary Menu Coordinator for Town & Country Markets Inc. Maddy’s favorite is the Chicken Noodle Soup because, he said, “it reminds him of homemade chicken soup—always a comforting memory!”
Also popular is Split Pea and Bacon—described as “a comfort classic” with split peas, uncured Hempler’s bacon (from Ferndale) and a mix of rich chicken and beef broths.
Maddy himself developed one of the soups—Chicken and Andouille Gumbo—which won the top spot in a company-wide contest a few years ago. This is a Louisiana classic with deep, rich flavors spiced up with smoky Cajun sausage and okra. He likes it over rice.
Each soup is described on the company’s website—along with nutritional information such as a detailed list of ingredients, allergens, calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, vitamin and mineral amounts, as well. Colorful icons indicate which soups are Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Vegan, Vegetarian and Low Sodium.
Here’s a sample of the kinds of soups that are rotating through the markets—but you have to call your market if you want to know specifically what that market has that day:
Clam Chowder – Loaded with clams, potatoes, celery, onions and bacon
Creamy Tomato Basil – Rich tomato cream with fresh-packed vine-ripened tomatoes and nut-free pesto (vegetarian, wheat free)
Classic Chicken Noodle – Home style with large dumpling-like egg noodles with fresh veggies, garlic, herbs and spices
Chicken Tortilla – Santa Fe-style slow cooked with garlic, poblano peppers, green chili, tomatoes, jalapenos (dairy/wheat free)
Split Pea and Bacon – Split peas, veggies, Hempler’s uncured bacon
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo – Smoky Cajun sausage and okra (dairy free)
Fisherman’s Seafood Stew – Hearty tomato stew with cod, clams, shrimp and a little spice (wheat free)
Curried Cauliflower – Cauliflower and potato in a coconut milk base, seasoned with garam masala and turmeric (vegan and dairy/wheat free)
Hatch Green Chile & Pork Stew – Hatch chiles, jalapenos, hominy, tomatillos and roasted pork with Southwest seasonings (dairy/wheat free)
Moroccan Lentil Soup – Hearty and spicy of red lentils, sweet potatoes and North African spices (vegan, vegetarian, gluten/dairy/wheat free)
Spicy West-African Peanut Soup – Sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans (vegan, dairy free)
Broccoli Cheddar – Sharp cheddar with broccoli florets, butter, cream, Yukon Gold potatoes and spices (vegetarian)
Argentinian Asparagus – Roasted asparagus in a light broth with onion, celery and carrots and herbaceous Argentinian chimichurri (vegan, dairy/wheat free)
Chicken and Wild Rice – With an aromatic wild rice blend, garlic, onion, celery, leeks, spinach
Chipotle Chili with Beans- Black beans, diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers, bell peppers (dairy/wheat free)
Creamy Wild Mushroom – Creamy bisque with white, Shiitake and Portobello mushrooms (vegetarian)
Beef Barley – Hearty with chunks of beef, barley, garlic, carrots, celery, onion (dairy/wheat free)