As I can tell from the unsightly minestrone stain on your hoodie, we are kindred soup spirits. Bouillabaisse buddies. Cock-a-leekie comrades. Miso mates. Pozole pals...you get the picture. Anyway, people like us, we get very excited about this most humble of bowl-bound foods. And (like you didn't already have it marked on your 365 Menudos desk calendar), January is National Soup Month. So let's raise a spoon to these lords of the ladle.
Seems like most people I know either love this humble Chinatown restaurant with a deep, fierce passion or don’t at all get why other people love it with a deep, fierce passion, but if you’ve had the huge bowl of hot wonton soup on a nasty day, you’re in Camp A.
This cheerfully-crowded little downtown deli has a long lineup of from-scratch soups, but like most people who’ve ever had a spoonful pass their lips (particularly when feeling under the weather) I’m keen on the signature Mama Leone's chicken soup.
You might be tempted to pass on the soup in favor of something more adventurous off the ever-changing menu at this North Park Blocks favorite, but I never miss it—it’s both delicious and surprising every time, and a reminder that this seemingly humble dish really is the litmus test of a great chef.
If you like to play with your food, and you like salad bars, and you like soup, well, here you go! Get one of the counter seats (with the in-table pots), choose your broth, then take your pick of the buffet of vegetables and meats, and commence hot-potting.
Normally I like a lot of variety in my restaurant life, but I’m perfectly content to get the same thing time and time again at this tiny downtown diner—the signature grilled cheese with tomato soup. It’s nothing short of perfect, particularly when paired with one of their seasonal milkshakes.
They don’t come any cuter than this Belmont nook, which produces some of the most thoughtfully-constructed crepes in town—I lust after the lemon butter-drenched, cider poached apples-topped Normandie. And a lovelier brunch special never lived--$13 for a mimosa, almond teacake and proscuitto & egg crepe. PS: Sit at the bar, where you can watch the crew slowly caramelize skillets full of onions for the outstanding French onion soup.
This widely worshipped Northeast hotspot is many things to many people—a highly evolved steakhouse, surprising source of superb plant-based dishes and allergy-friendly desserts, purveyor of exceptional cocktails, aaand, originator of some of the best, richest, most memorable chowder you will ever eat. And I eat a LOT of chowder.
Your sweet tooth will never forget this strange & delightful downtown hideaway's absolutely enormous pavlova smothered in creme anglaise, whipped cream, fresh peaches, raspberries & mint. Also, if you're a soup lover--order them all. They're that good.
When I feel like eating a huge and hugely delicious sandwich that's ultimately going to put me to sleep all afternoon, I head here for the roast duck banh mi, or, gulp, the meatball banh mi (meatballs made with "beef, pork, and secrets"). Also outstanding--the rich curry & coconut milk ramen and the coconut cookies, made by a neighborhood baker.
There’s so much to love about this airy, elegant Division Street cantina, where bright splashes of color against white walls set the stage for the kitchen’s beautiful, fiercely seasonal, locally-sourced take on traditional Mexican food. Get the salsas & guac to start, the trout pozole and/or enchiladas, and without hesitation, the Woodblock chocolate cake with passion fruit-chile ganache for dessert.
Not only do I love this cart’s unique, super seasonal soups and sandwiches (and cookies), I also want to live in it. It’s that cute. And when you try the roast pumpkin with spiced pears, Guinness lamb stew and applewood-smoked trout chowder, you too might consider moving in, at least for the winter.
This cute pink and green cart, a longtime resident of the SW Alder & 10th cart conglomeration, has the classic soup 'n sandwich combo dialed in. Choose from bowls both hearty (black bean & smoked ham) and elegant (potato with spring onion), and accessorize with a build-your-own grilled cheese sandwich. Fellow chowderheads, Friday is our day.
Normally, I head to this sigh-inducingly cute Airstream trailer-turned-gourmet food wagon for the lefse--thin potato-born crepe-esque wraps of Norwegian persuasion, filled with all manner of savory and sweet delights (as in, melted dark chocolate and caramel custard)--but don’t miss the terrifically rich beef stew topped with black pepper chevre if it's on the menu.
Whenever I’m in that in between cooking-and-eating-out sorta place, I head straight to this Hawthorne market for the kale and lentil soup. It’s hearty, satisfying, cheap, and perfectly salted. Oh and it comes with a free roll. Score!
This Thai hidey-hole on Hawthorne is one of my favorite cold weather destinations, especially when I'm craving a quick soup fix--my go-to is the Kuay Tiew Tom Yum noodle soup with ground pork, shrimp, Thai herbs and a big crispy wonton.
This Hawthorne newcomer is winning fans fast, and I’m one of them, 'cause on a dark cold night, nothing warms your belly like a bowl of the hunter’s stew—a ridiculously hearty concoction of meat, meat, and more meat. Get the sublime Polish honey wine crème brulee too.