Monday, October 12, 2020

Soupergirl Review

The covid-19 pandemic has, and continues to, disrupt every aspect of daily life. Though I really miss seeing my colleagues and friends in person and the other perks of living in Washington, DC (museums, performing arts, public transport), I've sort of settled into a "new abnormal" routine. 

Despite the difficult reason it has to be this way, a small silver lining of social distancing is that with a slower pace of life, I have had a renewed focus on what I'm cooking and eating, and where I'm sourcing it from. The highlight of my week every week is the Saturday farmers market in my neighborhood, and I've found that small businesses and restaurants have responded to the crisis nimbly and have gone over and above to feed the gluten-free community.

Though I have had fun experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes, I hit a wall a few weeks ago and simply lost any motivation to meal plan, cook, or wash dishes. Enter a literal super hero to save the day (well, at least mealtime anyway): Soupergirl. This woman-owned business serves up seasonally-inspired soups (and more) sourced from local farms and purveyors in a battle against the industrial food movement. Already a fan of their soups (which can be found locally across the DMV region), I realized it was more than overdue to dedicate a blogpost to this super awesome company. 

Team Soupergirl's golden rule when it comes to their products is simple: "if you can't pronounce something on the ingredient list, it should not be in the soup." Hear, hear! 

Their commitment to transparent labeling goes a step further with clear allergen listings. All soups are free from dairy, egg, fish, and shellfish. Soups in their nationwide shipping program are also completely free from nuts and gluten, and made in a dedicated facility free from those allergens. For their local delivery program, which I order from, the products are prepared in a kitchen that handles gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts, though a "strict allergen control program."

In addition to allergen-awareness, Soupergirl's inclusiveness goes beyond that, with all products certified as Kosher, and all products are vegan. For more FAQs, I highly recommend checking out this helpful page on their website.

And, in light of the ongoing pandemic, I think it's important to highlight their covid-19 response, which includes partnering with local hospitals to donate soups, initiating a new farm-share program and doubling down on sourcing from local farms, and committing to strict covid-19 protocols, including routinely testing staff, changing production methods to promote social distancing, and taking care of their staff. 

To take meal-planning pressure off during the workweek, I signed up for their local delivery program and committed to a junior soupscription. This means the tough choice of deciding what four pints of soup to order every week! 

For those outside the DC area, Soupergirl's got your back with nationwide shipping, in packs of 6-24, in pre-selected assortments or a choose-your-own-adventure style.

My first delivery in the soupscription was a superb showcase for the full kaleidoscope of summer flavors. Both the Indian style chickpea vegetable salad and curried red lentil peach soup channeled Indian flavors with a twist, the former with amazingly fresh vegetables and herbs mixed in and the latter with peachy sweetness shining through. The late summer vegetable chili was comfort food perfection with a nice, chunky texture. The cucumber gazpacho however totally stole the show with it's refreshing blend of cucumber, garlic, and bold flavors of balsamic and apple cider vinegars with sherry and homemade vegetable stock. It made for smooth sipping, and is basically summer in a bottle. 

In the next week of my subscription I had a tough time choosing from all the tempting options. The fabulous foursome I selected ultimately included the bursting-with-flavor salads (spicy quinoa bean & corn and lentil corn dill). Each had bold, unapologetic flavors and made for easy protein-packed lunch options. The split pea with mint was not as minty as I expected, but was a solid split pea soup. Though not able to steal its cucumber cousin's crown from last week, the spicy tomato gazpacho was downright awesome with bright, bold flavor and refreshing blend of tomatoes and cucumbers.

By the third week of my soupscription, I used one of the slots to re-order the fabulous cucumber gazpacho. I then doubled up on the cucumber chickpea tahini salad, which blended some of my favorite flavors all in one substantial salad. On a particularly rainy day, I enjoyed breaking out the southwestern black bean, which was hearty and delicious. 

Going into writing this review, I was already a pretty huge fan of Soupergirl from my prior experiences picking up their products at my local Costco and Whole Foods Market. However, I underestimated how much signing up for the soupscription totally helped to beat back the food prep fatigue I've been feeling lately spending so much time at home. It's really nice to have a new batch of soup options to choose from each week, plus a nice variety of options including salads and soups (blended and chunky). It feels doubly great knowing I'm supporting a local business and eating farm-fresh ingredients at the same time. It's a total win-win! 

Whether signing up for weekly deliveries or ordering one-off for yourself or for others, Soupergirl is a holistic investment in good-for-you-food that's allergen-friendly and health conscious. 

Disclaimer: This review is current to the original publication date. Updates will be noted. Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Each product should be reviewed for individual nutritional needs. Feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I purchased the products independently and the review is a reflection of my personal opinion. 

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