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LA Soup takes up residence at Bath Tub Row Brewery

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By Tris DeRoma

Who would have thought adding New Mexico-grown green chile to a time-honored family pierogi recipe  would be so popular.

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Monica Van de Water and her home delivery food company LA Soup and Specialty Foods started serving the pierogies with added green chile at Bathtub Row Brewery and the dish is a hit.

She just can’t make enough, she said.

The recipe was one of those happy accidents. Van de Water had an extra batch of green chile and some homemade pierogies on hand, and though combining the two would lead to another recipe.
She was right.  

“The few people that tried them who knew their pierogies said it was a game-changer,” Van de Water said.

LA Soup now serves the special pierogies from 5 p.m. to about 7 p.m. every Thursday at the Bathtub Row Brewery.

It all started with a fundraiser for the Los Alamos Derby Dames at the brewery. She said she did so well she asked the management if she could run a pop-up catering service there once a week. Management said yes, and the rest is history.

Van de Water brings a mix of regular pierogies,  green chile pierogies and veggie pierogies to the Brewery. Both of them are smothered in bacon, onions and mushroom with sour cream on the side.

“I’d like to say it’s Europe meets New Mexico,” Van de Water said.

“Green chile in this state is so much better than what you’d find in Colorado or anywhere else. There is a huge difference,” Van de Water said.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she’s may also introduce soon a red chile, mango chorizo pierogie, so look out for that.

Van de Water makes her pierogies and other recipes all by hand from her home. She then delivers the orders to homes and businesses across Los Alamos County nearly everyday.

She gets orders by email and her website and runs nearly the whole operation by herself.

Van de Water first got an official introduction to pierogi making from her Ukranian husband’s family.

She recalled making two to three hundred of them a day sometimes with her mother-in-law, who she still keeps in touch with.

Van de Water started LA Soup and Specialty Foods officially in 2015. She first began with an email list and then started taking orders through her website at la-soup-and-specialty-foods-llc.myshopify.com.

She also has a Facebook page with the link to her website.

People like the concept almost better than the food, she said.

Looking for a business that she can start from home that would also accommodate her kids’ activity schedules.

As someone who understood the pressures of getting dinner on the table every night, it didn’t take Van de Water long to put together the concept.

People just simply order through her website or her email list, and all they have to do is wait for Van de Water to deliver the goods.

“Everyone wants to have a nice dinner,” Van de Water said. “Moms and dads always want to give their kids good food, they don’t always want fast food, but they always don’t have time to sit in a restaurant on a weekday.”  

Van De Water said her prices are about the same cost as a buffet-style dinner, except it’s more nutritious.  Current offerings include Cool Curried Chicken Salad with Hoagies, Cabbage Roll Soup with Crusty French Bread, Beer Braised Brisket Poutine to name a few.

Van de Water said she expresses her love for her family and others through cooking, even those she hasn’t met yet.

“A lot of people are so grateful, they’re so kind, and happy that I do this,” Van de Water said. “It makes their life so much easier. It could be a working couple works late all the time to a family or senior who don’t want to cook any more.

They just want to have something brought to them.”

Van de Water once had a Bathtub Row Brewery customer come up to and give her a big hug. It turned out the customer once had a yearlong illness and ordered food from Van de Water to help her through.

“We just hugged, and I thought that was the best thing that happened that night,” Van de Water said.

To order something today, visit LA Soup and Specialty Foods at Facebook or visit her website at la-soup-and-specialty-foods-llc.myshopify.com.