The Kitchen Crew at The Lexington School is a hard working, dedicated and creative mix of wonderful culinary talent. As proud as I am to call these awesome people my friends and colleagues, their creativity puts me in an awkward situation on a regular basis. An unanswerable question is asked of me almost daily: "Would you share the soup recipe?"
We have a Baked Potato Station that is stocked with fluffy Russet potatoes and sweet potatoes along with a variety of tasty toppers to personalize your baker. We also keep our Soup of the Day at the same station. Our Kitchen Crew makes some really fantastic soups. I do not impose a menu on the Soup Station but rather allow a wonderful variety of vegan, vegetarian, creamy bisques and hearty stews to rotate at the whim of the chef responsible for the soup. The soup chef has the freedom to take any unused product from any other station in the kitchen and use it to create the Soup of the Day. This helps the kitchen reduce waste as well as add variety to our daily offerings. Maybe we have an abundance of carrots from yesterday's lunch. Some have been partially cooked for quick service and some are roasted and glazed with orange juice, honey and garlic. It would be easy to just toss these in the garbage. We don't have a "leftover" day and a partially or fully cooked (and seasoned) product doesn't work well in a cold salad preparation. One of our chefs adds some aromatics to a pot along with the roasted carrots and some of our house made vegetable stock. A little house made curry blend is allowed to bloom in milk and then pureed with the carrot/stock mixture. Creamy Curried Carrot Soup. Delicious but completely improvised.
You see, we have served this very soup on several occasions. Sometimes mushrooms are added from the Salad Station and the soup is slightly more earthy. Sometimes the cream is left out and potatoes and extra stock are added and the soup is completely vegan. Sometimes we didn't have unused carrots but we had ten pounds of butternut squash on hand so the soup is changed all together. Creating a set menu would stifle creativity and could even lead to more waste. I have no interest in either consequence so we'll just leave our Crew to their magic. Just know that if you ask for a recipe for the Soup of the Day, be prepared for me to answer with, "I don't know."