The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Homemade Specialty soups come in eight varieties. Courtesy photo.

Homemade Specialty

Visit or find it at an upcoming fair:
• Saturday, Oct. 18 at Pinkerton Academy (5 Pinkerton St., Derry) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
• Saturday, Oct. 18, and Sunday, Oct. 19 at the Leaf Peeper’s Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at North Conway Community Center (2628 White Mountain Hwy., North Conway)
• Saturday, Oct. 25 at Somersworth High School Craft Fair (8 Memorial Drive, Somersworth) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Memorial High School Craft Fair (1 Crusader Way, Manchester) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
•  Saturday, Nov. 15 at the YMCA Craft Fair (24 Stadium Drive, Nashua) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Soup made easy
Gourmet soups make gift-giving a cinch


 Whether it’s garden medley, sweet potato chili, corn chowder, split pea or chicken noodle soup, for Homemade Specialty founder Vicki Abbott, they’re all good for the soul. 

Abbott began making the gourmet low sodium soups in 2010 as gifts for her daughters’ school teachers. Candles, chocolate and other typical gifts didn’t seem to fit, so she thought she’d try to make something comforting. 
“Food always goes over well,” Abbott said. “It’s not really a grocery store package, that’s not my goal. It’s something different. It goes in a gift basket.”
Customers purchase the dehydrated soup mixes as unique holiday presents, get-well-soon gifts, housewarming parties or just to keep in the pantry for themselves.
“Now soup season is here, so we’re getting busy with craft fairs,” Abbott said. 
The soups come in a package of neatly layered dehydrated vegetables and seasonings. Unlike other store-bought soup mixes, Homemade Specialty soups are colorful and healthier, Abbott said. 
“The big benefit to this soup is they’re lower in sodium than what you’d find in the grocery store,” she said. 
Homemade Specialty soups have 400 milligrams of sodium per cup while the average soup mix has about 800 milligrams.
After receiving requests at the NH Made Expo in Manchester this past spring, Abbott reformulated her eight soup recipes so that all are vegetarian and five are gluten-free.
“That was huge. I couldn’t touch that whole market at the expo,” she said. 
Her eight flavors are corn chowder, split pea soup and Canadian split pea soup, sweet potato chili, asparagus and potato soup, garden medley soup, bean and veggie soup and chicken noodle soup. 
“I like them all. I’m one of those people that if I don’t like it, I don’t make it,” she said. “My girls’ favorite is the corn chowder. I take some shredded cheddar cheese and crumbles of bacon and sprinkle that on top.”
Each package of soup can serve a family of four with some left over. The directions are simple: just boil water on the stovetop, add the soup mix, stir, cover and let cook.
“The goal was it’s got to be easy so that everyone can do it,” she said. “The great thing about this is people can make it their own. If you have leftover chicken or turkey you can certainly throw it into the chicken noodle and garden medley. … What I tell people is cook it up, make it your own. Throw the wrapper away and tell people you’ve spent all day making it.”
Currently, Homemade Specialty soups are available at seven stores, including Craft Beer Cellars in Portsmouth and Nashua, the new Hooksett visitor center Country Store, on the Mount Washington Auto Road, at Abbey Cellars in Lincoln and at Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton. The soups are also available to order online, but at this time of year, Abbott said many find her at local craft fairs. 
“People find us and they call us, especially this time of year for the holidays,” Abbott said. 
As seen in the October 9, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu