Soup-er duper!

By on January 25, 2017

Root’s chef’s soup being served at Queen Elizabeth’s estate

Dan Person owns Dan’s Paper Plate at Root’s Country Market & Auction, Manheim. Two of Queen Elizabeth’s chefs recently hand-picked his ham and bean soup to be served at Sandringham Estate.

LNP and LancasterOnline reporter Erin Negley produced this Q&A with Person. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Q: Tell me about your business.

A: We do very, very approachable, affordable chef-inspired, elevated cuisine.

Q: That seems conflicting.

A: A lot of times, things can be done very simply. You may get a plate of roasted vegetables that may cost you no more than a dollar or two. You may go to some restaurants and they might charge you $20 or $25 for a little risotto.

Q: Is the ham and bean soup always on the menu?

A: Absolutely. It has to be. Do you know how this ham and bean thing started? I absolutely loathe ham and bean soup. Everywhere you go, it’s this god-awful watery broth with beans and a couple of flecks of ham in it. I thought that would go over really, really well here. People will love it. If I’m going to make it, I’m going to make it so I would love it.

Q: How do you make ham and bean soup?

A: I roast the ham for about 40 hours at about 200 degrees. The ham is pull-apart tender. I hand-shred it and then use great northern beans. I’m going to blend half of the beans with my immersion blender. This soup, it has such a flavorful taste.

Q: How did your soup end up in England?

A: Deb Steward (and) her husband Kevin were visiting her Aunt Annie and came in for breakfast before going to Lancaster Central Market. I had just finished my soups. That day, I had some of my own pasta salad, my own cherry-barbecue pulled pork, my own roast beef, my own chicken and waffles &tstr; I roast the chickens 10 hours, unbelievable &tstr; and then I also sent out a great big bowl of ham and bean soup to warm them up.

Q: Kevin stood up at the end and said, “I want to tell you that we love your soup so much.” And then Annie said, “Give him your card already,” and he gave me the card with the royal seal on it. They said, “We’re chefs (for Queen Elizabeth II) at her Sandringham Estate.”

A: (Deb Steward) called and said they like the soup so much, they’re adding it to the estate’s menu and we’re calling it Dan’s Hearty Pennsylvania Ham and Bean Soup. You could have knocked me over with a feather. That was a real shock.

A close-up of Dan's celebrated ham and bean soup.

A close-up of Dan’s celebrated ham and bean soup.

Q: What is the key to making a great soup?

A: Thinking about the components as parts of a whole. You have a good stock made from a protein or vegetable source. You’ll want to think about sodium, acidity, carbohydrates, herbaceousness, and layering the flavors. You can tell a good chef when you can tell they practice the art of restraint.

Q: What’s next for Dan’s?

A: I think within a next year I’ll be branching out into another business. Whether it’s a brick-and-mortar (restaurant) or a food truck.

Erin Negley is a features reporter for LNP. She can be reached at enegley@lnpnews.com or 291-8690.

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