April 26, 2019

Swamp Soup

Tastemaker
By Eric Cox | March 23, 2019

One of the staples at Centre Street Café in Traverse City is the Swamp Soup. Its origins trace way back to when chef/owner Pete Boothroyd expanded his juice bar at the TC Gym into a full restaurant in 1999, when the gym closed. The tomato-based soup was one of his first creations. He tried a couple versions before settling on a soup loaded with spinach and topped with grated Swiss cheese. But it didn’t really gain notoriety until it was accidentally named by a customer. “One of our customers said, ‘It looks like something that came out of the swamp.’ Another customer heard that and thought that was the name,” said Boothroyd. “They told someone else, and people started coming in and asking for the swamp soup. The name stuck.” The savory mix of spinach sautéed withgarlic and onion is balanced by the sweetness and acidity of the tomato’ the proverbial cherry on top is the cheese. And while Boothroyd may tweak recipes now and again, Swamp Soup remains basically unchanged. “It was a combination that ended up working. I might use a better grade of tomato, but it’s pretty much been the same forever.” 

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