The Stockpot in Virginia Beach
It’s time to get cozy. Pile on the sweaters, bury yourself in blankets, and bring on the soup! There’s really no other perfect time for a soup startup. As my husband and I wandered through Old Beach Farmer’s Market—a Saturday ritual—I was suddenly drawn to the spectacle of a pair of bright-hued Le Creuset pots. I looked up to find a new vendor and a familiar face. Aside from being our regular server at Pacifica, Patrick was in a new light, ladling soup like it was his job. And we soon found out—it was.
Patrick Edwards and Anne Galante of The Stockpot have a simple mantra: We do soups. Tired of the scarcity of soup joints in our area, the duo decided it was time to birth The Stockpot and craft quality soups primarily prepared with local ingredients. Anne, a former chef at Pacifica, has since moved on to Terrapin, which is why the oceanfront restaurant graciously shared their lot at this past weekend’s market. Their first pop-up offered two soups of kale-sausage and vegetable mulligatawny as well as sides of cornbread and rosemary biscuits; I, of course, ordered one of each.
The yellow pot held an earthy, burly kale and sausage soup. Hearty hunks of subtly-spiced sausage mingled among celery, potatoes, leafy kale, tomatoes and diced onions. Thinly shaved garlic slices meandered in its mild-seasoned broth. It was delicious, nonetheless, making way for the kale and sausage to make a statement.
The blue pot held yellow curry-esque soup, vegetable mulligatawny. Traditionally, it’s an Indian-style soup that is typically blended, but they decided to leave each ingredient in chunks for a more substantial meal. The vegetables were ideally crunchy and not overcooked. The squash and sweet potatoes were tossed among puréed lentils making for a well-developed broth that was both creamy and limey. The mulligatawny was served over basmati rice then garnished with cilantro and scallions. Needless to say, my husband and I had to ration out the final bites, wishing we ordered a double portion of this one.
Crafted with Virginia cornmeal, their cornbread was super buttery and heavenly moist. This wasn’t your average crumbly cornbread yearning for a dip. It was sweet and could’ve easily been served warm under a scoop of vanilla ice cream. On the other hand, the rosemary-flecked biscuit was savory and dense pairing wonderfully with the vegetable mulligatawny soup spooned over top. Though, I’m not ashamed to say I ate the majority of it on its own.
I have high hopes for The Stockpot. Currently, they are on the lookout for a permanent spot in Norfolk. If their expanded menu is anything like the four items we devoured this past weekend, they’ll do plenty well. Their shtick will be more about out-of-the-box soups, or as Patrick said, “to change soups one ladle at a time.”