However tired we may be of cold, rainy
weather around this time of year, there are still some comforts
that make it all worthwhile. Hot soup is one of the season’s
undeniable perks. Hot soup on a damp day is a winning combination.
When the landscape is at its starkest black
and white and mandatory coats and boots are accompanied by mandatory
hats and gloves, a warm bowl of soup, a slice of crusty bread
and a glass of full-bodied red wine can change the day from bleak
to radiant in no time.
All great cuisines contribute a first rate
soup – or two – to the pot. Most of them are easy to make, and,
depending on your fancy, any of them can brighten an otherwise
chilly day. Save yourself preparation time and see "Soup’s
On" [below right] for a listing of places to purchase a
soup near you.
New England Clam Chowder: A delectably
thick, creamy soup, chowder has been an American favorite for
generations. It’s fun to make from scratch with fresh clams and
big chunks of potato. Its white cream base distinguishes it from
its tomato-based Manhattan chowder cousin.
Georgia Peanut Soup: Ground peanuts give
this southern specialty an earthy, rich flavor. Another version,
made with ground almonds and attributed to Spain, is more delicate
in flavor with the same crunchy texture. Small portions make
an elegant first course before a formal dinner.
Borscht: Served hot or cold, borscht owes
its bright red color to its base of fresh beets. It can be made
with vegetables alone or with meat and meat stock. While the
combination of vegetables varies, borscht almost always includes
cabbage, onions, and tomatoes and is traditionally topped with
sour cream and snipped fresh dill. Borscht makes an elegant first
course for dinner or lunch served with black bread and butter.
Bouillabaisse: This classic Provencal fisherman’s
stew combines the chef’s choice of mixed fish and shellfish paired
with a combination of garlic, tomato, saffron and fennel. It
is served with toasted French bread and a saffron garlic mayonnaise.
Hearty and filling, bouillabaisse makes a great main course for
a winter dinner.
Soupe a l’Oignon: French onion soup is
one of the simplest soups to make and one of the most delicious
to eat. Made with large quantities of finely sliced sauteed onions
and water or stock, it is topped with toasted French bread and
grated cheeses then baked in the oven where the cheese and bread
become a delectable crust. Great lunch fare.
Egg Drop Soup: Simple and delicate, this
Chinese soup combines the flavors of garlic and ginger in chicken
stock into which an egg is dropped, stirred and cooked, then
topped with fresh cilantro and chopped spring onions.
Miso Soup: Japanese miso is a soybean product
that comes in a wide variety of flavors and colors. Miso soup
has a light flavor and texture, most often featuring squares
of tofu and seaweed, and is the perfect first course before a
Avgolemono: Made from chicken broth, egg
yolks and lemon juice, this soup has a fresh, tart flavor. Delicate
and light, avgolemono is gentle on the digestion. A good, light
lunch or first course.
Pomegranate Soup: Pomegranates are used
in many different ways in Persian cooking. They add a very delicate
flavor and a beautiful pink color to this slightly sweet soup,
one of the most popular in the Middle East.
Mulligatawny: This southern Indian favorite
has countless variations, though all are curried then smoothed
with coconut milk or cream. Onion, garlic, coriander, and cooked
rice are included more often than not as well as chunks of cooked
Any nation’s cuisine you choose to sample,
you won’t be disappointed by these favorites. Try making them
at home or order soup from your favorite ethnic restaurant. See
"Soup’s On" [below].
Here is a selection of restaurants
and markets that offer carryout soup, a reviving meal on a chilly
Barracuda Seafood Restaurant
71st Street at Third Avenue
87 South Elliot Place at Lafayette Avenue
392 Fifth Ave. at Sixth Street
9506 Fourth Ave. at 95th Street
Hale & Hearty Soup
32 Court St. at Remsen Street
84 Montague St. at Hicks Street
44 Henry St. at Cranberry Street
9326 Fourth Ave. at Ninth Street
236 Seventh Ave. at Fourth Street
146 Bedford Ave. at North Ninth Street
145 Atlantic Ave. at Henry Street
139 Montague St. at Clinton Street
Las Tres Palmas
124 Court St. at Atlantic Avenue
Mama’s Hot Soups
453 Court St. at Fourth Place
361 Seventh Ave. at 10th Street
Marco Polo Ristorante
345 Court St. at Union Street
135 Atlantic Ave. at Henry Street
522 Court St. at Nelson Street
2929 Ave. R at Nostrand Avenue
Montague Street Saloon
122 Montague St. at Henry Street
1955 86th St. at 19th Avenue
79 Berry St. at North Ninth St.
1 Old Fulton St. at Water Street
141 North Seventh St. at Bedford Avenue
6716 Fort Hamilton Pkwy at 67th Street
7410 Third Ave. at 74th Street
Shoyu Nori Wasabi
347 Seventh Ave. at 10th Street
Smith Street Kitchen
174 Smith St. at Warren Street
Soup as Art
8321 Third Ave. at 83rd Street
Tonio’s Italian Cuisine
306 Seventh Ave. at Seventh Street
205 Bedford Ave. at North Fifth Street
– Compiled by Terence Minerbrook