Nestled away on a long dirt road in Annan sits the home of Melanie Dunkelman, known far and wide for her delicious soup. The secret ingredient of her soup is her garden, a bountiful beautiful space full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices. Her fresh ingredients are matched with a rich knowledge and history of cooking, baking, and making delicious food, and the result is some of the best soup you’ve ever tasted.
How long have you been making soup and what brought you to this point in your journey?
I had been a chef in Toronto running my catering company Season 2 Taste for the last 20 years. When the pandemic hit, and all parties came to a halt, we moved up permanently to our house in Annan. I had to re-invent myself and came up with the idea to bottle gourmet soups to sell. I got a table at the Owen Sound Farmer’s Market in November 2020. I am there every year from late October till May.
There’s no shortage of fresh ingredients in Grey County! Where’s your favourite place to look for inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my garden where I grow a lot of what goes into the soups, the forest where I forage, my friends who love what I feed them, my customers who are so excited each week for the new menu, the integrity of the local producers and farmers. Everything I’ve dreamed of is in my backyard. My mother who is closely connected to the earth through her pottery, who inspires me daily and who is my soundboard.
What’s your favourite soup flavour to date?
I love the flavours that I have created from international dishes such as my Thai Vegetable Coconut Curry soup. I also love my classic Heirloom Tomato soup that comes from the 40 different varieties I grow.
What’s the best way for people to buy your soup?
Owen Sound farmers market from fall to spring. Watch out for my social media for pop-ups and artisan markets i do. On market weeks, I start selling Friday for pick-up. Email is best to pre-order.
Any favourite local hidden gems that are worth sharing?
I love the new restaurant Parkwood by Heartwood. They really know what they are doing.
Lloyds smoke shop in Wiarton for cool magazines and homemade ice-cream.
Ravenna General Store’s butter tarts.
Forsyth Farms Lamb.
Location: Annan, ON