Frank Larkin, owner of Cafe Sejuiced, shares his soup-er philosophy
‘Sometimes I’ll just give away free soup. You’ve got to love what you do.’
‘Making soup is like any other activity,’ says Frank Larkin, cook, café owner and occasional philosopher. ‘The purer your intentions are, the more love you put into it, the better the outcome.’
Café Sejuiced is his bright daytime café hidden behind an impressive former tobacco factory, now converted into WASPS artists studios. Sejuiced has built a strong reputation in recent years for its soups, sandwiches and fresh fruit juices, but it’s the soup we’re here to talk about, and between us lies Frank’s soup diary, which contains the names and recipes of 243 soups he’s made and sold at Sejuiced over the past five years. He’s aiming to bring this up to a nice round 365, a year in Frank’s soup kitchen.
‘Anything that can be put on to a plate between a knife and fork can be turned into soup,’ he says, and some of his most popular past efforts have turned this philosophy into soups such as chicken korma, and haggis, neeps and tatties with a nip of whisky. Browsing through the soup diary also unearths more delicate combinations such as courgette and orange, crab, coconut and coriander, cream of celeriac with pancetta and garlic, and cucumber gazpacho.
Sejuiced’s Facebook page is an increasingly popular forum for requests, as well as for details as to what’s currently on offer. With three or four soups available daily, Frank now offers free samples. ‘Sometimes I’ll just give away free soup,’ he says with a shrug. ‘You’ve got to love what you do.’ Proof that soup has plenty to contribute to philosophy as well as lunchtime.