by Jane Rodmell for All The Best Fine Foods, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter

The builders have left. The lights are on. The doors are open. Spring is in the air and we are gearing up for very exciting times ahead in the newly renovated All The Best.

In our kitchens we have always sought out the finest ingredients for our prepared foods –naturally raised meats and poultry and lots of good produce from local farms. Today we are thrilled to have received official Local Food Plus certification. Local Food Plus (a.k.a. “LFP”) is an award-winning non-profit organization founded in Toronto in 2006 by broadcaster, teacher, sustainable food crusader Lori Stahlbrand. The organization certifies local farmers and food producers who meet LFP standards of environmental, social and economic sustainability. We are committed to supporting these local farmers and producers and offering their foods for sale to our customers. Our chef, Olivia Bolano, is already planning visits to farmers to arrange delivery of Ontario asparagus and beans for this year’s pickling season and selecting fresh meats and produce for our spring menus.

In the meantime there is still much to enjoy in our current chilly weather weekly menu ( Our large selection of tasty ‘feel good’ soups include all the favourites of the season-Chicken Noodle, Split Pea and Ham, Classic Onion, Cream of Mushroom, Leek and Potato – plus specialties such as Parsnip and Pear, Carrot Ginger and, one of my favourites, a delicious Sweet Potato Soup with Fresh Dill.

Sweet Potato Soup with fresh Dill

1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (about 3 cups/750 ml)
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
¼ cup (50 ml) dry white wine
Kosher or sea salt
5 cups (1.25 ml) vegetable stock or ready-to-use broth
¼ cup (50 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh dill, divided
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and leek and sauté until softened but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, sweet potatoes, carrot, wine and a pinch of salt and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until sweet potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Using a blender, purée soup, in batches, until smooth. Return to saucepan. Stir in cream, 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the dill and parsley. Reheat over medium heat until steaming. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warm bowls and garnish with remaining dill.

Serves 6

Drop by to enjoy a feast for the season.

All the best,