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Random Thu Jan 23 2014

Six Ways To Celebrate National Soup Month

Soup. It's one of the food categories that may be akin to a best friend. Something about steaming hot food in liquid form served in a bowl on a cold day has the magical ability to make you forget about how much you hate single digit temperatures, icy walkways and seeing your car covered in snow.

For me, soup is that warm comfort place where all troubles wash away in a medley of broth and spice and hopefully kale. You can curl up to it, hold it close. It heals us from sickness, reminds us of our mothers. Soup never talks back. On some level, it makes the world a better place.

Coincidently, it's National Soup Month in January, and we've rounded up a few inspiring hot spots where you can get your liquid love on while winter brutally continues. Put that canned soup away and visit some of these places. You deserve so much better.

Cicchetti White Bean with Speck Crème soup


Cicchetti:
The recently opened Venetian-inspired small plates spot takes its love of all things warm and inviting seriously with this White Bean with Speck Crème with pickled escarole by serving it tableside. Get it on their lunch menu for $8, and pair it with one of their flatbreads, like the fontina, pancetta and pickled red onion. Or just get more soup. No one will judge.

Bite Cafe fennel and tomato soupBite Cafe
Making the decision to go on that first online date or cozy up to tomato soup and grilled cheese, the mother of all soup and sandwich combinations, is hard. That decision becomes even harder when it's the Fennel and Tomato Soup (yes, fennel) and Grilled Cheese from Bite Cafe, The Empty Bottle's sister establishment, and the best little cafe south of North Avenue. Oh and it's BYOB. And there's no corkage fee. If fact, kill two birds with one stone and make this your new date night.

Three Aces
Garlic, garlic and more garlic converge in the Winter Garlic Soup from this Taylor Street spot, Three Aces. Made with sautéed, roasted and raw garlic blended together with leeks and potatoes and garnished with fried garlic chips and smoked hot paprika, this soup may put a momentary damper on your love life, but your stomach and your tastebuds will thank you. Run, don't walk to get it: this soup only comes once a year.

Three Aces winter garlic soup

Yusho
Street food is the epitome of comfort food, and ramen makes you remember the days when you didn't have to pay for rent. Last time I had it, Yusho's Logan Poser Ramen with pork meatballs, nori and crispy pork skin, was the perfect mix of everything that a complete meal should be. To dip or not to dip is always the question.

Logan Poser Ramen

2Sparrows soup2Sparrows
This Lincoln Park lunch spot could be your new best friend this winter with their rotating line up of savory and satisfying soups, and any soup that contains cheddar, like this broccoli cheddar soup, wins in my book. The soup bowl is never empty here, so if you miss it, there will be more. Look for a black bean with chipotle crema to finish off the month.

Flo and Santos chiliFlo and Santos
Nothing says the world will be alright (even if it isn't in subzero temps and dirty snow) like Flo and Santo's Cane & Ebel five meat chili (ground pork, ground beef, bacon, kielbasa and sirloin) served in a bread bowl and topped with all the fixings. Pair it with the Flo's Flip -- their twist on a traditional 'Flip'- Buffalo Trace bourbon, orchata and egg white shaken hard to get a perfect froth and then topped with fresh nutmeg. Take that in the face, Polar Vortex.

And if you love soup as much as I do and want to feel good about eating it, what could be better than getting your soup on at the annual Soup and Bread -- a free soup community and donation based fundraising event held every Wednesday until mid-April at the Hideout.

PS: In honor of National Soup Month, Delish Diner in Wicker Park is taking 20 percent off your bill if you donate to their food drive. See, soup does indeed make the world a better place.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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