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amyc / January 5, 2005 6:10 AM

My kitchen. I made some yummy curried spinach and potato soup just the other night.

Finding good vegetarian soup recipes is hard (this book is a treasure), but I've come across a few favorites over the years: carrot matzoh-ball, carrot-ginger, tomato-lentil-barley, and four-grain tomato are in regular cold-weather rotation here.

JJZ / January 5, 2005 8:22 AM

Old Time Ribs in Des Plaines has really good soup and everything else is just average.

paul / January 5, 2005 8:51 AM

Soup weather means staying home tending a big pot of barley, veggies and a ham hock all-day long.

If I really need to go to work, the best place for soup in River North is Brett's Kitchen, on Superior and Franklin.

Also, Finkl's Deli makes a kick-ass matzoh ball soup, and they deliver downtown.

Naz / January 5, 2005 9:02 AM

Panera Bread, for a chain has excellent soups.

While not technically a soup, the stews of the day at Earwax is always yummy - so is their seitan chili, of which a beer tinged version is found at The Handlebar which is also yummy. All vegetarian too.

I've always been curious about the Soupbox but have never gone despite close proximity - anyone have any thoughts on them?

Overwrought Mind / January 5, 2005 9:14 AM

Neither of these really fit the category, but the best lobster bisque can be found at Ruth's Criss and the best vegetarian chili, surprisingly, at this random pita joint on the top floor of the "mall" on Michigan Avenue across the street from Sax Fifth Avenue.

I also had some decent cream of potato at Clark's.

miss ellen / January 5, 2005 9:15 AM

oh lord, panera is the shite. love it! if there was one in the loop, i'd be in trouble....

soupbox is a'ight. had a few good ones, had a few bland ones.

i also love making soups. my big bad cuisinart is a great tool & i've made a big pot of cream of potato and most recently, i did a curried winter squash with mushroom soup (substituted a delicata & sweet dumpling, yum). honestly, most of my soup experiments come about from an abundance of veggies from our CSA --- potatoes are always in major stock at my place & the squash piles up.

amyc, i suggest checking out some of the moosewood cookbooks for tasty veggie soups.

Roni / January 5, 2005 9:16 AM

Whole Foods...tomato bisque...mmmmmm.....

jenny / January 5, 2005 9:32 AM

I'm w/ AmyC "My House" is the place for soups.

Christmas holiday = poverty, so it's cabbage soup at my house.

brian / January 5, 2005 9:35 AM

Despite having graduated from college more than 7 years ago, I still willingly and eagerly consume ramen soup. Yes, the 10 cent per package variety, not necessarily the fancy asian variety.

I'm a big fan of the lentil soup at Pita Inn. Other than that, I guess we usually make soup. Buying it is expensive.

susie / January 5, 2005 9:38 AM

Bittersweet Pastry Shop on Belmont. You can have a delicous bowl of their soup followed by a really decadent dessert. They puree all their soups and the are outstanding. However, they only make one type per day and it varies.

steven / January 5, 2005 9:39 AM

soupbox on broadway. the chicken & wild rice soup rocks.

my wife makes the best chicken soup in the city, hands down.

emily / January 5, 2005 9:45 AM

1. My house for chicken soup.
2. Sultan's Market for lentil soup.
3. Food Life in Water Tower for Italian wedding soup.

Maggie / January 5, 2005 9:51 AM

I love me some Fresh Choice soup. There is one in the Illinois Center and one on Broadway/Roscoe-ish. The tortellini in chicken broth (Mondays only) is the reason I come to work on Mondays. And the cream of potato is perfect for cold days.

Pete / January 5, 2005 9:55 AM

Thayer Brothers Deli in Joliet, owned and operated by Tom Thayer's family. I have yet to see Tom there, but his brother Rick bears an uncanny likeness.

RA / January 5, 2005 10:05 AM

In the Loop, Tuscany (Clark & Wacker inside RR Donnelly building) makes the best vegetarian minestrone. I like the soup hearty w/o tomatoes and packed with fresh chunky vegetables and small pasta.

Dawson / January 5, 2005 10:08 AM

I just had the French Onion at 3rd Coast. Very tasty.

j3s / January 5, 2005 10:18 AM

Soup is such a comfort food, I tend to get it close to home: Lula's or Cafe con Leche. If I am craving lentil soup though, it's off to Sultan's Market.

However, most days I just make my own bastardized miso soup: Korean hot bean paste, white miso paste (added last with the heat turned off), shiitake mushrooms, wakame seaweed, tofu if I have it. Plus buckwheat soba noodles if I want it to be really filling. Salty and spicy and healing, good stuff.

Benjy / January 5, 2005 10:27 AM

My girlfriend makes the best soups. The other night she made this awesome Thai chicken and peanut soup. She also makes incredible chicken soup w/ matzoh balls.

Steve / January 5, 2005 10:37 AM

The best homemade stuff I've ever had was Lisa's baked potato soup. My girlfriend makes a very good chicken noodle soup as well.

I'm usually content with Lipton Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup or a few of the Campbell's chicken varieties as well as their baked potato offerings. Mmmmmm, salty....

Andrew / January 5, 2005 11:04 AM

This is my favorite.

Kevin / January 5, 2005 11:09 AM

Walmart. Love the chicken noodle.

karen / January 5, 2005 12:05 PM

http://www.ecookbooks.com/products.html?affiliateID=51066&item=SS425P..............

YUMMY RECIPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ruthie / January 5, 2005 12:18 PM

I love cooking soups at home in the wintertime. I'm with Miss Ellen on her Moosewood Cookbook suggestion. I make the Gypsy Soup (spicy broth with sweet potatoes, mm), Cauliflower Cheese soup, and Lentil soup from that cookbook all the time. Buttermilk Borscht, if you're brave, is also fantastic.

Lam / January 5, 2005 12:32 PM

Su Van, on Lincoln, a few blocks north of Belmont. Their curried pea is excellent.

Yoshimi / January 5, 2005 12:32 PM

any of the soups from triple crown.

yoshimi / January 5, 2005 12:32 PM

any of the soups from triple crown.

Monkey / January 5, 2005 1:00 PM

Pho 777 on Argyle. Pho sho!

donna / January 5, 2005 1:23 PM

I love the french onion soup at The Creperie on Clark near Diversey.
Sitting near the window with that soup and a nice glass of wine on a snowy day is like, the best thing ever.

amyc / January 5, 2005 2:02 PM

The old Amitabul on Southport used to have this amazing soup called "oceans of health" -- miso, dumplings, veggies, tofu, soba noodles, and seaweed. It cured what ailed you, that's for damn sure. The new location doesn't have it (although they do still have "nine ways to nirvana").

j3s / January 5, 2005 2:10 PM

OK, this thread inspired me. I just made a huge pot of soup, tomato-based: potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, napa, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, hot sauce, raz al hanout...some other stuff. So good on a day like today!

Highlander / January 5, 2005 2:37 PM

I'm not against your typical hoity-toity soups, but I like my ethnic style soups the best. How could I not. Where I live, I could name many places. Hortex, west on Irving Park, from Harlem has a nice variety. From the restaurant,White Eagle, which has the best ducks blood soup, to The Red Apple, which not only serves soups in this chilly season, but has the best varity of all-you-can-eat polish food. There are a few deli's nearby. Jolanta's deli, on higgins and austin has a soup called flazcki, it's tripe soup, or also called instestine soup, very goood...They also have others as well, hunters stew, barley, chicken, beef, and cabbage soup. Along with a sandwich and soup your paying around 5 or six bucks.

puh-leeze / January 5, 2005 3:20 PM

walmart, kevin? are you kidding?!

cynth / January 5, 2005 4:08 PM

If you are ever out in the far west burbs, check out the Dead End in Fox River Grove for their soups. Beef Barley, Chicken Noodle and many more - all good, homemade, filling and cheap!

e_five / January 5, 2005 4:27 PM

I love asian soups, expecially when I gots the hangover. The asian market on the SW corner of Argyle and Winthrop has everything you need to make a spicy Tom Yum or Tom Yum Kha soup (broth cubes, noodles of all types, straw mushrooms, lemon grass, coconut milk, fresh shrimp on ice, pea pods, green onions, fresh clams, live crabs, cilantro, etc.) for under $10.

H.M. / January 5, 2005 4:44 PM

Siam House on Milwaukee in Niles has the best tom yum soup I've ever had. The droplets of hot chili oil on top tell you what you're in for. It's tart and flavorful and not the least bit sweet. Plus, there's a giant mural of a cockfight on the wall. If you live on the outer north/northwest edge of the city, it's worth the drive.

My husband makes an excellent soup out of dashi, any white fish, tons of fresh ginger and garlic, daikon radish, bok choi, and scallions.

My personal favorite is a homemade white bean and kielbasa soup with kale, which I learned to love at an early age when a crotchety old fisherman rented a room in our house in Massachusetts. He made this soup for us every now and again. I've done my best to recreate it.

greg / January 5, 2005 5:43 PM

lentil soup from taste of lebanon, clark & foster
also anything from captain nemo's, ashland, south of grace, i believe.

Lisa / January 5, 2005 7:44 PM

Steve is correct. My baked potato soup is the best! I wanted to make it tonight, only I am out of potatoes!

I am the vegetarian soup master!

Jazzy J / January 5, 2005 8:08 PM

Manny's on Jefferson for Matzol Ball but The Bagel on Broadway and Belmont is #1 for cabbage soup!! Yummy in my Tummy!

pat / January 5, 2005 8:12 PM

the golden angel at lincoln and montrose...

best... soup... evar...

Scott / January 5, 2005 10:48 PM

The Soupbox on Broadway is one of the best. Twelve or more soups everyday. I recommend the beef stew.

Shylo / January 6, 2005 10:37 AM

Oh, the Creperie's french onion soup. Oh! Oh!

The Illinois Center's Fresh Choice soups are just lacking something for me. The cream soups are too creamy, the spicy soups are too spicy, and the broth soups are too bland. But they have good bread.

e_five / January 6, 2005 11:48 AM

The old Hamburger Hamlet at Rush and Bellevue used to have the best French Onion soup ever-- but I think it caused brain tumors. I saw Gene Siskel there a lot.

Axel -S- / January 6, 2005 1:00 PM

Penny's noodles!!!! Mmmmmm - the thought of their wonton soup (ask for the noodles with it) after a 5 mile - sub zero run with my buddies has me salivating at my desk.

- Also Yes Thai on Damen/Foster - Tom Kha Soup (Side of Rice)
Also delicious and with a little kick to it -making it perfect for those snowy winter nigths. (And when spring comes -the rest of their food R-O-C-K-S) (Shameless plug - and no i don't work there :) (Just a devoted fan)

Lastly - my Dad's house back in Scotland - he could be the champion soup maker in the hameland!

robin.. / January 6, 2005 1:24 PM

steve and lisa: enough with the baked potato soup tease! if it's a recipe you can part with, can you email it to me? i'd be definitely in your debt, and the vrey first time i come up with a good soup, i'd share it with you, too....

robin.. / January 6, 2005 1:26 PM

uh, the "very" first time....not the "true" first time, as one might interpret my above sentence if one's french was bad...

Ruthie / January 6, 2005 2:43 PM

I want a copy of this famous vegetarian baked potato soup, too!

Cinnamon / January 6, 2005 2:44 PM

Hey, Lisa.

Send me your potato soup recipe and I'll make it and maybe have you and Steve (and robin, if you're good!) over to mi casa and you can tell me what I did wrong and I'll write all about it for One Good Meal. I love my mom's Potato soup but she quit making it for a couple of year's and now doesn't really remember how. I should have paid more attention when I was in high school.

matt / January 6, 2005 4:09 PM

could i get that lovely recipe as well. I LOVE pot soup. My favorite kind of soup, in fact. PLEASE!!!

Lisa / January 6, 2005 5:23 PM

Share the wealth with Baked Potato Goodness!

This is the official recipe...

1T margarine (I use butter)
2 cups diced onion (I hate onions, so I just chop an onion in half to get the flavor and throw the thing away when I am done)
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth (I use Knorrs vegetable bouillion)
1 can of Campbells cream of chicken soup (I use cream of mushroom)
1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/4 cups of 1% milk (I use 2%)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp basil
dash of Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup cooked diced potatoes
Bacon bits (obviously not in my recipe)
shredded cheddar
chopped green onion (BLECH!)

Over low heat melt butter, saute onion and stir until tender. Add flour, gradually mix in broth and condensed soup. Bring to a boil. Add potato flakes, cook, stirring constantly for 15-20 minutes. Add milk and cook ten minutes more. Add potatoes, seasoned salt, basil, tabasco. Serve with bacon bits, cheese and green onion.

Honestly, I don't measure anything when I make this... I usually double the recipe and add things by sight. I know there are way more than one cup of potatoes in there.

I'll be waiting for the dinner invites!!!!

Steve / January 6, 2005 5:46 PM

Yummy, new info to close out the workday -- maybe Kristen and I will make a batch this Sunday (I lost the recipe years ago, and never got around to making it back then). By then, we might've finished LAST Sunday's monstrous pan of lasagna.

Here's my soup story du jour: I'm so paranoid about eating tainted/botched food (well, as paranoid as a raging carnivore can be) that I emailed Campbell's today to ask what the date on the bottom of their cans means (I know it ain't the born-on date). Anyway, I haven't heard back from them yet, but I eventually found something on their website that said it refers to the last date when you'll get the optimal quality and flavor. Nothing about botulism....

Hey Lisa -- you still bloggin'?

Veronica / January 6, 2005 7:17 PM

Seconds to Donna on La Creperie's French Onion. I love how the cheese just flows over the crock and the onions are all sweet. Yum.

And I know it's a chain, but Au Bon Pain's Cheddar Broccoli never fails to make me happy.

marge / January 7, 2005 9:58 AM

lucky platter in evanston has a terrific caribbean pumpkin soup.

Kirsten / January 7, 2005 10:01 AM

7 on State at Marshall Fields has the best Chicken and Wild Rice soup I've ever had, I don't know what they put in there, but it is fantastic.

clare / January 7, 2005 11:41 AM

Thirds to Donna and Veronica- La Creperie's French Onion is why I love the French. Also, I agree that Au Bon Pain has amazing Mushroom Bisque, Southwest variety, Cheddar Broc and most others. I am also a soup chef- Tortilla soup rocks!

Perch / January 7, 2005 11:55 AM

It may be obvious, and not a great "value", but the Tortilla soup at Frontera is absolutely delicious! Top notch...

Also, I love to make soup in a crock pot in the morning and just let it steep all day. It smells so good when you come home later. Mmmmmmmmm.....

Maggie / January 7, 2005 12:55 PM

I can't believe I forgot this! Egg Harbor Cafes, a chain breakfast/lunch place in the burbs, has amazing Chicken with Wild Rice. Yum yum yum.

Erica / January 7, 2005 1:26 PM

I didn't have time to read through them all, so I apologize if someone said this already. Gold Coast Dogs. OK, OK, I know, it's a fast food dog chain. Really, though, I just interviewed the owner for my magazine and he said the Glenview location has 10 different premium soups to choose from every day. I understand the Loyola location also offers soup and he's working to get Midway to as well.
Hmmm. I love the soup.
Erica

anne / January 7, 2005 2:53 PM

I can't believe I nearly forgot the chicken soup served with every meal at Lalo's mexican restaurant at Clybourn and Racine. A chef at a restaurant I used to work at always said he goes there special to get a gallon of it for his girlfriend when she's sick. I can vouch too, it's some tasty soup.

Lisa / January 7, 2005 4:55 PM

All of this talk about soup made me try a new recipe.... it's chickpea and dumpling soup, and after eating it, I have decided that I am the Soup Queen. All hail to me, the Queen of Soup!

robin.. / January 10, 2005 10:44 AM

lisa! you rule!

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