It’s that time, Metro Detroiters. The mercury has officially plummeted, and I had to defrost my car this morning for the first time since last winter. With the temperatures looming around fifty degrees, the best way to warm yourself up is with a hearty bowl of piping hot soup.
Everyone’s got their personal favorite (mine being minestrone), so in order to accommodate that, I give you some of the area’s tastiest soups.
Cass Café, 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit, serves a hearty and healthy Roasted Curry Lentil Soup, which is their house variety. Perfect for the cooling temps, it’s thick, to the point of almost being a stew. They also have a soup du jour (“What’s the soup du jour?” “It’s the soup of the day.” “Mmm. That sounds good. I’ll have that.” If you laughed, we could be friends).
Woodward Avenue Brewers, 22626 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, may be known for its beer, but the menu includes Turkey Chili, made with house-made ground turkey. The bowl or cup of soup is topped with shredded cheddar cheese and served with sour cream, pico de gallo and a grilled tortilla on the side.
Russell Street Deli, 2465 Russell St., Detroit, serves nearly a dozen made-from-scratch soups a day, and the list changes daily. On any given visit, you might find Manhattan Clam Chowder, Vegan Curried Yellow Split Pea, Chili con Carne, Hungarian Green Bean or Black Eyed Pea with Collard Greens and Smoked Sausage on the menu.
Redcoat Tavern, 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, is what dreams are made of when it comes to cheeseburgers, but what you may not be aware of is their equally delicious soup. Their rich Famous Clam Chowder is the perfect accompaniment to a Piedmontese burger. If you’re interested in sampling more than just one component of the sea, try the Caribbean-Style Seafood Chowder.
Inyo Restaurant & Lounge, 22871 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, serves traditional Miso soup for lunch and dinner, packed with wakame (seaweed), scallions and tofu. For dinner, however, soup dishes for two are added to the menu. Spicy Black Cod soup is slow cooked with a variety of vegetables and a spicy kochujang paste, while Yose Nabe is packed with Alaskan king crab, shrimp, salmon, baby clams, bok choy and mushrooms.
The Earle, 121 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor, is an upscale fine dining restaurant with plenty of Italian and French choices on the menu. Their two soup options are both traditional choices: French Onion (with shallots and chives, topped with gruyere cheese) and Purée (a blend of spinach, carrots, turnips, potato and watercress, combined with chicken broth and cream).
Dish, 18441 Mack Ave., Detroit, is a new-American restaurant with a rotating list of soups. On any given day, you’ll find several unique and tasty flavors, like Corn & Seafood Chowder, Five Onion, Creamy Tomato and Butternut Squash Bisque. Each is just $4/bowl (or $10.50/quart) and is served with bread.
220 Restaurant, 220 Merrill St., Birmingham, serves Creamy Minestrone with Prosciutto. If you ask me, the only way to make vegetable minestrone any better is by adding salty, cured meat. If that doesn’t appeal to you (you’re crazy), Tomato Basil and the Chef’s Soup of the Day are also available.
Assaggi Bistro, 330 W. 9 Mile Rd., makes a House Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup with herbed polenta croutons and crème fraîche. If that doesn’t sound like a substantial, savory lunch option, I don’t know what does.
Good news for those of you who are trying to be both thrifty and healthy by bringing your lunch to work: you can still sample one of Metro Detroit’s best soups without dining out!
Achatz Soups & Catering of Casco makes soups from scratch that are arguably the best around. Best of all, you can find them at local markets like Busch’s, Hillers, Plum Market and Westborn Market.
Achatz knows soup—they make over 40 different varieties! Vegetarian Barley, Philly Steak & Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie, Split Pea with Ham and Zucchini Garden Chowder are a few you may come across in the refrigerated section.
Let’s face it: the weather is just going to get colder, and as it does, let the amount of soup we consume increase greatly! That’s one (scrumptious) way to keep warm.