Food & Drink

Cooking in Quarantine: Marmite’s Bruce Naftaly Offers Soup for the Soul

A simple stock recipe and a zucchini and mint soup to savor

By Tricia Romano April 6, 2020


It’s going on who-knows-how-many-days of quarantine and we figure that, like us, you are tired of your own cooking. We asked local chefs to share some of their favorite safe-at-home foods to cook during the isolation period. Interested in submitting a recipe? Email

“Personally, Sara and I are working very hard having pivoted Marmite to take-out and delivery with a new comforting menu and cocktail kits, and adapting Amandine Bakeshop to just take-out. We are trying to keep our employees working! When we get home, we are pretty tired and are cooking pretty simply- pasta, a roast chicken, etc.

I think that the next month or so will see a steady increase in business as people become more accustomed to being at home more than usual and though they will be cooking more at home I think that they will welcome the ability to briefly leave the house to pick up some yummy food from one of their favorite places.

—Bruce Naftaly is the co-owner and chef of Marmite Restaurant. He and his wife, Sara, owned Le Gourmand. Amandine Bakeshop is open for pastry and coffee to-go orders and selling gift cards. Marmite is open for to-go and delivery and is also selling gift cards.  


I thought that it would be helpful to provide a basic soup recipe. This recipe can be used to make the Zucchini and Mint Soup, as well as easily adapted to any soup that one can imagine. The basic technique is versatile, delicious, and not too difficult. An important thing to know!” 

  • 2 leek whites, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 lb unsalted butter (can substitute 1/4 cup olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 oz fresh spearmint, Divide in half and reserve a few leaves for garnish
  • 6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
  • sea salt to taste 

In a heavy-bottomed non-aluminum pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the leeks, shallots and onions and cook slowly until they are translucent and relaxed.

Add the zucchini and half of the mint and the stock. Bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook until the zucchini is soft (about 10-15 minutes).

Purée in blender with the rest of the mint. This way you get the deep background notes of the cooked mint (think mint tea) and the bright fresh notes of the raw mint (think Mojito).

Return soup to pan and salt to taste. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Serves 4-6. 

This recipe can be adapted to make any pureed soup that you can think of. Just substitute for the zucchini and mint. Spinach or chard or celeriac or parsnips or Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes or carrot and ginger or roasted root vegetables or……?????? 


“A basic stock recipe! The word for ‘stock’ in French is ‘fond’—the same root of the word foundation. Stocks are the foundation of French cuisine! Our restaurant, Marmite is named after our vintage 40-gallon steam kettle, the giant stockpot that is the heart of the restaurant. Homemade stock is far superior to any that one can buy at the store and is not difficult to make. But if one does not want to make their own, they can always buy it from us at Marmite! We pride ourselves on being able to provide excellent stock form the home cook!” —Bruce Naftaly

  • 4lbs chicken backs and necks or equivalent. For more gelatinous stock use chicken feet!
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 head celery, cut into small pieces
  • 3 large carrots, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 oz thyme
  • 1/2 oz rosemary
  • 1/2 oz marjoram
  • 4 bay leaves

Put all ingredients in stock pot. Add enough cold water to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and cook at a bare simmer until all of the flavor is cooked out of the ingredients—about 5 hours. Skim the scum that forms on the top of the stock while it is cooking. As it cooks, if the liquid level falls below the level of the ingredients just top it off with more cold water. When done, strain and refrigerate. The fat will go to the top and solidify when cold. It can then easily be removed. The schmaltz (chicken fat) can be used as a spread or just composted.

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