Food Truck Series: Experienced chef brings homemade soup to campus


The Soup’s On food truck, where students can enjoy a hot, nourishing bowl of soup accompanied by a fresh sandwich. Leroy and Jennie Mitchell’s food truck made its debut in August 2015 | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Sam Jackson, Staff Reporter

Soup’s On, the only food truck in the Spokane area specializing in soup, is one-of a-kind.

It not only has an array of hot soups, but fresh sandwiches as well. The truck’s debut was in August 2015, at Spokane’s Pig Out in the Park Food Festival.

Recently, the truck has made appearances at events like Spokane Valleyfest and Montana’s Music Festival.

The owners of the truck are Leroy and Jennie Mitchell, who both regularly provide food on campus together. The truck is at EWU’s Food Truck Plaza, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Leroy Mitchell, owner of Soup’s On, has over 43 years of experience in the food industry. He has traveled to many places representing his title as a top chef.

“He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he graduated early as one of their top students,” according to the Soup’s On website. “His executive level cooking has taken him across the nation to high profile jobs such as an executive chef for British Petroleum. He is a Certified Executive Chef by the American Culinary Association and was also President of the Wyoming Chef’s Association for three years.”

Jennie is a supportive and hardworking co-owner. She likes how Soup’s On provides a way to share her husband’s cooking, since she thinks his food is “wonderful.”

“My husband retired from Alaska and we moved down here to Washington and I didn’t want him to sit around being a potato,” said Jennie. “First, he asked me if I was willing to do this. I knew it was going to be hard work, but I wanted to share his wonderful cooking. I know he is an excellent chef. I said yes, and I put it in my head that it’s going to be hard work for me to be dish washing, cleaning and keeping up to code with food services. But, I knew how it was ultimately because we’ve worked in the food industry for years.”

Other people in the food industry look up to Leroy’s talent of making decadent food and his unique food truck.

“The main food is soup, which I’ve never seen a food truck do that before,” said Rachel a student who works the kettle corn stand at the EWU football games and is helping out at Soup’s On. “All the soups are made from scratch. Leroy has built a professional kitchen in his garage. He’s actually been trying to teach me to make the soups and everything. The soups are all really homemade and wholesome. Then the sandwiches are all nice and hot.”

EWU members are encouraged to try all of the soups and sandwiches at Soup’s on, but there are a couple that stand out.

“The signature soup is the New England Clam Chowder, it’s just so good,” said Jennie. “My husband also created a huckleberry cream cheese on a turkey sandwich with Monterey cheese on top.”

Jenny and Leroy enjoy serving five days a week on the EWU campus. They also cater weddings and other events upon request.

“With the students, I love meeting new people and sharing this wonderful food,” said Jennie. “His work is so beautiful, but not many know about him since we are so new to Washington.”