Ian Duff has been with the company for nearly 4 months now, and in that time has made an immediate impact in all areas. After Ian was invited to write for the Big Issue Magazine, and enjoyed the process, I invited him to contribute to the Bath Soup Company Blog. Ian has a great deal of catering experience to share and a developing story to tell and i'm sure his posts will make for an interesting read.
My story is a simple but a not so rare one nowadays. I went from working 7 days a week to finding myself homeless. After a period of sofa surfing I ended up sleeping rough in Bath, just me and my dog, Boycey.
After 2 weeks, someone approached me and told me about the night shelter, Julian House, so after some soul searching and swallowing of pride, I ended up in the shelter. There I was assigned a Key Worker who put me on the road to find accommodation. I then signed up to the Big Issue in Bath and became a vendor, selling the magazine to make ends meet.
I have now been selling for just over a year and have met some wonderful people, plus a few not so nice ones. You learn to block out these people to a certain degree but it is hard sometimes. Anyway, one day about 3 months ago, a member of staff at the office mentioned this soup company and knowing something about my back ground in catering, suggested I give them a call. I did and now I volunteer once a week at the soup school where, with Helen, I help teach basic kitchen skills and, of course, the art of making good soup.
I am now developing soups for the company and hope to be working for them on a full time basis in the near future.
Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking. Soups, stews and gruel were ideal for the rich and the poor and for travelling cultures. Soup was commonly prescribed to the sick and invalids around Europe to help them rebuild their strength.
The first modern restaurant industry is said to be based on soup. The first items served in public restaurants in the 18th century Paris was soup, which was called consomme. French cuisine has, therefore, generated many of the soups we know today.
Over the next few weeks I am going to be talking about the soups that we are making, the development of the recipes and the sources of our ingredients, as well as continuing my personal story, which will hopefully take me back into employment.