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Meet the ‘soup guru’ from Glenrothes, who is becoming known for her hearty recipes

Lisa Greig.
Lisa Greig.

With autumn on the horizon, the season of turning leaves and darkening nights, the timing is perfect for us to welcome a new soup producer to Fife’s thriving food and drink scene, Soup Guru.

Lisa Mary Jean Greig became well-known for her hearty soups when running a small deli in Thornton around a decade ago, cooking it for customers and catering events.

The temptation was all too great to launch a business to offer these soups after their instant success at the time.

Locally sourced vegetables.

But by taking on other commitments in the years that followed, including studying food and consumer science at Dundee University and working as a college lecturer in food and hospitality, the 40-year-old only decided to make this goal a priority in January this year.

Eight months later, Lisa unveiled her brand, Soup Guru, to the public on social media.

‘Who doesn’t love soup?’

Operating from her home in Glenrothes, Lisa says the idea of launching Soup Guru has “been bouncing around” in her head since 2013.

“When I left the deli in Thornton to go to university, I considered having a soup company then,” she continued. “But it never came to fruition due to studying commitments.

“When I qualified, I went into working in the food industry full-time and, again, there was no time to think about it.”

A range of Lisa’s popular soups.

Lisa went on to work at Graham’s Family Dairy and Kettle Produce, as well as run a page known as Love Food Group on Facebook.

This involved her sharing healthy recipes and cooking ideas that helped many people through lockdown.

She added: “When I had to walk away from my job at Kettle Produce at the start of the year due to Covid, and childcare not being possible because my mum and her partner were shielding, I decided to rethink my business idea.

“And I’m so glad I waited as the company would have been so very different if I had done it eight years ago.

Lisa operates from her kitchen.

“During this time and through my studies in food science, I have become very passionate about buying local, British and organic produce where possible. It’s how I eat myself and I wanted to make a product that I would buy myself.

“Soup seemed the logical idea because I knew I could make it well, I can source the ingredients locally, it promotes healthy eating and adds variety into a diet. And well who doesn’t like soup?

“I’m told I’ve been making all my neighbours very hungry on my cooking days as the smell of the soup makes its way down the street all day and night. If things continue to go as well as they have, I may look for premises next year.”

Most of the vegetables are sourced from Meadowsweet Organics in Falkland.

A soup alchemist

The soups come in 600ml pouches, which provide two portions, and are available for collection or delivery (everywhere between Glenrothes and Dunfermline, Perth and Kinross). Customers can purchase either three (£10) or six (£20) pouches when placing an order.

Most of the vegetables used are sourced from Meadowsweet Organics in Falkland. Lisa collects them on a Monday and prepares the soups from Tuesday to Thursday, ensuring they are as fresh as possible.

Flavours include cream of tomato, miso mushroom, roasted beetroot and goats’ cheese, spiced sweet potato and squash and carrot and coriander.

The soups come in 600ml pouches.

“I try to think of new soups every week,” said Lisa. “It’s like one big constant soup experiment. My husband calls me the soup alchemist, but I always have the core favourites too.

“I cook in small batches with hot water and short cooks to retain as much of the nutritional value as possible. They are then cooled and frozen. All the packaging is made from recycled products.

“Of course, everyone could make soup, but to have the convenience of variety, knowing that the produce is sourced locally and organic is the key to why people want to buy mine. That and it’s delicious, if I do say so myself.

Lisa officially launched Soup Guru in August.

“My main source for fresh produce currently is Meadowsweet Organics. They are an amazing couple who are very passionate about what they do and produce a great variety of fresh vegetables. The rest is from other reputable wholesalers.”

The business owner finds that anything and everything inspires her when coming up with new recipes, from a meal she has enjoyed to certain flavour combinations.

She continued: “With soup, it’s just letting the ingredients do all the work for me. It’s important to keep it simple, adding only what’s needed and seasoning it well. If I taste it and I say ‘Mmm, oh I’m good’ I usually know it’s ready to bag up.”

Securing a premises

With the business already proving a hit, Lisa believes the only logical next step is to secure a premises and hire a small team.

Freshly prepared soup pouches.

She said: “I have lots of plans and ways I think I could develop the business, but not until next year and the next season.

“I’m going to have to come up with a plan for the winter months and the fact there will be a reduction in produce, so at the moment I am concentrating on that and possible solutions.

“I never thought it would take off so fast. I just hope I can make enough soup to keep everyone happy!”

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