Vibrant fall soup is packed with veggies

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From the October 2022 issue


Patty Jacobs loves to live near the coast. 

She grew up in Linwood, N.J., a bedroom community outside Atlantic City. She’s also lived in three Florida seaside areas — Key West, Key Largo and West Fort Lauderdale — as well as Sonoma County, Calif. She moved to Delaware after meeting her husband, Ted, who owned a beach home in the Oak Orchard area.

Jacobs also never strayed far from hospitality. Her mother, whose family was in the industry, owned a restaurant at the Mays Landing Country Club in New Jersey. “I was raised in the business,” Jacobs says. “When I was probably 8 years old, I stood on a milk crate and sliced vegetables.”

Her paternal grandmother, an Italian immigrant, also put Jacobs and her five siblings to work. “We sat and peeled whatever she picked off the vine and went to Vineland to buy apples, limas — the chores were always food-related, and that definitely influenced me as I got older,” Jacobs says.

As a high school graduate, she moved to Key West and began working for a corporation that owned several resorts across the country. “I opened up a lot of new properties and [did] menu planning,” she explains. In 1993, she returned to New Jersey. But she never owned a restaurant until 2011, when she opened the upscale Patty’s Deli in Georgetown. Briefly, there was a second site in downtown Lewes, but it was far too small for her operation. But Patty’s returned to the waterside town when the landlord took over the Georgetown spot. The deli is now in the Liberty gas station on Savannah Road near the Lewes Public Library.

Patty’s is no ordinary deli. Jacobs emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients. “Sometimes we make salads two or three times a day,” she says. “You won’t find that in a grocery store deli.”

At this time of year, you’ll also find soups along with gourmet sandwiches. The restaurateur’s fall wild rice soup is full of seasonal color and flavor.



(Serves 8)

  • 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of uncooked wild rice
  • 8 ounces of baby bella mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice), sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 large (about a pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 11⁄2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning
  • Cream sauce
  • 2 large handfuls of baby kale, roughly chopped with thick stems removed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

STEP 1 Heat butter or oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and add the onion. Saute for five minutes, occasionally stirring, until the onions are translucent and soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for another one to two minutes, occasionally stirring, until fragrant. 

STEP 2 Add the vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, sweet potato, bay leaf and Old Bay. Stir to combine.

STEP 3 Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.

STEP 4 Add the cream sauce and kale, then stir until combined. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in more Old Bay if needed.

For the cream sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1⁄4 cup of flour
  • 11⁄2 cups of milk

STEP 1 Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a separate heavy-bottom saucepan. Whisk in the flour for one minute.

STEP 2 Whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth.

STEP 3 Let the sauce cook until it nearly reaches a simmer, at which point it will thicken.

STEP 4 Remove from the heat and add to the soup once the rice is completely cooked.