All the best stories start with food.
In the case of Natoora, it was a peach. Founder Franco Fubini was in a New York grocery store on a December day in the late 1990s. A woman came in and asked where she could find peaches. Thick snow lay on the ground and Franco was struck by how removed we’d become from the food we ate. We didn’t know how, where or when it was grown.
It was not the peach season. And yet, here we were, expecting peaches in the snow. The seed of an idea was planted. Ten years later, Franco founded Natoora with one mission. To replace a broken food system with a transparent and sustainable supply chain. Natoora only sources fruit and vegetables when they’re in season, which means they are at their absolute best and naturally packed with flavour.
Working with small-scale growers, as well as on their own farming projects, they support traditional growing methods and actively champion heritage varieties that might otherwise have been lost. Provenance is everything. They know the seed, soil, and story behind everything they source.
Today, Natoora supplies radically fresh produce for the best restaurants in London, Paris, New York in Copenhagen as well through their own grocery stores and cafes throughout London.
When we decided we wanted to create a new range of autumnal soups for our menu, we knew exactly who to call. We could, of course, have made them in-house. (We’re pretty good cooks too.) But like Natoora, we have always sought out the best partners when it comes to sourcing our produce. Good enough isn’t good enough. We want to work with people who share our obsession with provenance, quality and seasonality. People who think like us.
Over the past few months, we’ve been working closely with the team at Natoora to create a range of autumnal soups that showcase the best of this golden, yet fleeting season.
You’ll find frost-ripened Lancashire parsnips, hand-picked pears from East Sussex and chicory grown in the fertile soils of Lombardy. And fresh walnuts, Jerusalem artichokes and sweet Delica pumpkins… each with a story to tell.
Together we’ve captured autumn, in a bowl. Be sure to savour them while they’re here.
Ingredients In The Spotlight:
Delica Pumpkins from Mantua, Italy
Oscar grows his Delica pumpkins in the clay soil of a former reservoir of the river Po. He believes the clay acts like a sponge, releasing organic matter, minerals and nutrients slowly as the plants grow. Once harvested, he uses an ancient Mexican method to reduce the water content in the pumpkins, intensifying their natural sweetness.
Jerusalem Artichokes from Dunkirk, France
François waits longer than most to plant his Jerusalem artichokes. He wants the cold to have fully set in, so the plants divert energy to their roots, concentrating the flavour. He then hand-picks the intensely-purple, rough-skinned tubers on demand, to make sure they stay as fresh as possible.
Cavolo Nero from Cornwall, UK
Richard has been growing brassicas and greens on his farm in the Lynher Valley for over thirty years. Like many autumnal crops, the colder weather forces the plants to slow their growth which concentrates sugars in their blue-black leaves. Unlike the woody stems of intensively grown greens, Richard’s organic Cavolo Nero is naturally tender.