Bob Murphy’s soup to the rescue
February 29, 2008
Parkite Bob Murphy said he goes by the simple concept that everyone loves soup. As a food lover himself, he is out to offer Parkites the best selection of "simple," tasty soups to warm their hearts at his restaurant at the Park City Plaza, called "Souperman."
"Food is my passion," Murphy said. "We serve at least eight flavors a day."
Murphy has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Originally from Maine, he worked as an architectural engineer and craftsman for several years. However, after moving to Park City in 1978, he worked as a sous chef at Grub Steak while fulfilling his passion for skiing. Working as a chef got him excited about cooking. After living in Park City for eight years, he moved back to Maine, where he opened several restaurants of his own. He then moved back to Park City after meeting Laura, who is now his wife in 1997, and has since owned operated a paint contracting business, called Paintworks.
However, Murphy said he missed working in the restaurant industry and is now back in the cooking business. He opened Souperman in November and said it has quickly become a hit in Park City.
"It’s something I think every town needs," Murphy said. "Everybody likes soup."
Murphy cooks homestyle soups in his restaurant, made fresh daily. As a native of Maine, Murphy created a special clam chowder recipe he lovingly nicknamed "Clam Chowdah."
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"The chowder is very popular," he said. "It is nicely spiced and well-flavored. It’s not a thick chowder. It has lots of potatoes."
Murphy said Souperman’s cooks do not add salt or flour to the soups, making sure the ingredients are completely natural.
"Everything here is made fresh," Murphy said. "We don’t add salt and we don’t add flour. A lot of people use flour to [thicken] soups."
Instead of adding flour, Murphy said his cooks add extra vegetables and natural ingredients to the soups to create a natural thickness.
Every day, Souperman serves three daily soups, including the Clam Chowdah, Chicken Noodle and the vegan Tomato Basil soup. On Fridays, the special is Lobster Bisque.
Other popular soups on the menu include curry pumpkin, gingered squash and peppered broccoli soup.
Murphy said his soups are made with the freshest ingredients and vegetables. He plans to use the fresh vegetables sold in the Salt Lake, Park City and Heber farmers’ markets when summer comes around. He also plans to set up his own booths at the markets.
All of Souperman’s soups come with a side of fresh focaccia made locally by Volker’s Bakery, in Kamas whole grain bread or sourdough bread. The restaurant also serves fresh Caesar salads, with Souperman’s homemade Caesar dressing.
Souperman offers group deals for companies looking to order soup on the fly. It is called the "No Tax Fax." Each morning, Murphy faxes the daily flavors to companies in town that request them. If these businesses fax in their orders by 11 a.m., Murphy said they do not have to pay for the tax on their orders.
Murphy said he also caters open houses for real estate agents.
The restaurant owner said he enjoys serving soup to the Park City community and encourages Parkites who have not yet experienced the healing powers of his soups to come in and try them.
"Cooking is a great outlet for creativity, and Souperman fills a unique niche in Park City," Murphy said.
Souperman serves soups in 8-, 16-, and 32-ounce containers, all of which are biodegradable. Murphy reminds all Parkites that all of the eating utensils and containers in his restaurant also are biodegradable.
Prices range from $3.95 for a cup to $10.50 for a quart. Guests can eat inside or outside of the establishment.
Murphy also supports Ovarian Cancer Research, after his wife, Laura, was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. For every purchase, 5 cents goes to support cancer research.
Murphy lives in Prospector Square with his wife, Laura, and their two daughters, Jessica, 15 and Kelly, 11.
Souperman is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is located in the Park City Plaza at 1890 Bonanza Drive. For more information, call (435) 604-0419 or visit http://www.soupermanparkcity.com .