Sara Polon is on a mission to save the world, one bowl of soup at a time.
It’s a goal she set out to accomplish back in 2008 when she started Soupergirl, a D.C.-based soup company. At the time, the former comedian abandoned the stage and convinced her mom, “an astonishing cook,” to join her in the kitchen. The two started making soups from scratch in the basement of a now defunct Spanish restaurant, selling them online and at area farmers markets.
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The impetus behind Polon’s decision to hang up the mic and pick up a ladle had to do with Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”
“I was one of those people who used to think that farmers markets were really cute and kitschy, and I didn’t realize the impact of every food choice I made, and how every food choice I make impacts my body, my community, my water system, my air, the planet,” Polon said.
Using locally sourced vegetables, fresh herbs, whole grains and homemade stocks, Polon introduced D.C. to watermelon gazpacho in the summer, autumn vegetable chili in the fall and a hearty ribollita in the winter. And the city ate — or rather, slurped — them all up.
Fast-forward to 2016, and Soupergirl has two restaurant locations (one in Georgetown and one in Takoma, D.C.) and is stocked in several markets and grocery stores, including Whole Foods.
Rather than a basement kitchen, Polon and her crew produce hundreds of gallons of soup each day out of a 1,500-square-foot kitchen — a space that is quickly becoming too small for the ever-expanding operation.
Polon admits soup isn’t the sexiest food in today’s competitive culinary landscape, but it’s classic, which helps sustain Soupergirl’s popularity.