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October 26, 2010

Top 10 Tuesday -- cold weather soups

top tenHere are 10 or so soups that I'll be looking for when the weather finally snaps. With one exception, all of them, to the best of my knowledge, are regular menu items, at least for the season.

As always, and until I say different, the Top 10 is less a definitive ranking than an informed, prejudicial, and opportunistic amalgamation of your suggestions, my favorites, and whatever we have a good photograph of. Here are 10 or so soups that I'll be looking for when the weather finally snaps. With one exception, all of them, to the best of my knowledge, are regular menu items, at least for the season. 

French onion soup generates a lot of heat. Poster "Tman" recommends the classic version at Petit Louis in Roland Park- it's on the menu every  night. What makes it so good -- for starters, veal stock. I had a nice one recently at Marie Louise Bistro in Mt. Vernon.

When it's very very cold and the hour is very late, nothing revives like the Korean fish soup mae un tang, brimming with -- best not to know. Station North's Nam Kang is the obvious choice, but I got a call from the nice lady who owns Kimco Seafood Restaurant in Ellicott City (10176 Baltimore National Pike, 410-480-1442), inviting me to drop by sometime -- so if that's closer, give it a chance. 

I haven't been to the new Suburban House in Pikesville yet, but I'm thinking about how satisfying a bowl of matzo ball soup is going to be when I do.

Cream + seafood + Cindy Wolf (+ lobster bisque) = good.  Garnished with a butter poached lobster tail and tarragon oil, it's on the menu now at Charleston in Harbor East.

D@L poster "Katie" stands by the malacca laksa, a curry soup with rice vermicelli, chicken, bean sprouts and fried tofu, at Chocolatea in Tuscany/Canterbury.

And "powpowpow" recommends the Thai coconut soup, with lemongrass, chicken, galanga and "magic" at Chokchai Thai (6824 Harford Rd., 410-426-3244) in Hamilton.

Oyster stew seems to taste better in Fells Point - it's this time of year when I want to give John Steven Ltd. a check-in.

Among the scattering of soup stalls and shops around time, Hampden's Soup's On gets extra points for faithfully updating its website with daily specials. Today's black lentil soup with sage oil is tempting me badly.

Over my cubicle wall, reporter John-John Williams sang me the praises of the Oceanaire Seafood Room's New England clam chowder --available at the bar all day long at the Harbor East restaurant for $2.95. Be sure to ask for the bar men, though.

I liked the tip "Lisah" gave for the green chili chicken soup at Golden West Cafe in Hampden, and I'll throw in a new menu item at  Miguel's Cocina Y Cantina in Locust Point, a yummy sounding roasted corn and poblano soup.

Baltimore sun photo/Lloyd Fox


Posted by Richard Gorelick at 6:26 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


I've had great cream of crab soup at both Regi's and Ale Mary's. Jon Parker makes the best French onion soup ever, but seatings are invitation-only and he insists on calling it "Freedom Chowder".

The secret is that it's mostly cheese.

I also make a black bean and roasted poblano soup that's a good cold weather dish.


Every time I stop in at Sean Bolan's I say to myself "Try something different." But somehow I always ask for the Red Pepper, Smoked Gouda and Crab soup. I had something similar at the Yellowstone Inn this summer, but it was drastically inferior.

I hosted seven colleagues for lunch today, and served vegetable beef soup, featuring equal parts of homemade beef and veal stock. Everybody had seconds.

What kind of self-righteous buffoon feels that he is SOOO much better than everyone that he has give himself a pompous title every time he shows up. What an ass.

you know who has really good soups - Side Street Cafe in Hunt Valley (just south of andy nelson's)... its too bad they aren't open for dinner

you cannot go wrong with a big bowl of pho at a handful of area viet places.

Thanks for the post. Definitely going to try some of these.

maybe i should have put this in the comments when you asked for recommendations to this, but i figured it would be automatically included.

guess not:


i find it's pretty hard (impossible?) not to enjoy a bowl of this anywhere on a cold day/night, but i prefer to get it at either Mekong Delta or Minato.

I agree. I had intended to put it in there, too -- I kept losing copy and/or formatting as I went back and forth between Word and Movable Type. I nearly passed out.

I really like to make this soup with lamb, chickpeas and green beans, kind of a hybrid of a couple of syrian/lebanese/moroccan dishes. It sticks to your ribs - good and good for you. With a nice shot of harissa added to it, it clears you sinuses nicely.

Oh, and good ramen!

How could anyone discuss hearty soups without mentioning Atwater's? There's no one standout at this time of year since the selection changes daily.
Atwater's in Belvedere Square is an out of the way trip for me, and it's a close call whether I stock up there more for the soup or the bread. If it's lunch time I have both at the counter.

Thanks, FHJ. I really wanted to only include regular, or permanent, menu items. Otherwise I end up sending people out for soups that are no longer offered.

I did include Soup's On Hampden (instead of Atwater's) as an example of a soup specialty shop.

Just wanted to say that you have the wrong link for Soups On in Hampden. Their website is one on Preston Street in Mt. Vernon is a totally different company :)

thanks! like I said, that soup post was haunted -- I KNOW I had the right link in there

My favorite are the French onion soup and the "pasta e fagioli" soup (beans and pasta). I could cook them every day. staub cookware

Though I have been pleading my case for years, Attman's still says it's too labor intensive to make kreplach soup. The last time I had it was in the old Jewish section of Montreal, at a deli owned by a Greek.

True, Atwater's doesn't have a "regular" soup menu, but their soups are SO good! It doesn't matter what's being served on any particular day ... at the very least they're excellent, and at their best, they're spectacular!

I second Dottie.

this post inspired me to cook up some soup for the coming weekend (one of the benefits of soup being you can cook it ahead) last night.

found this recipe online for a chorizo/chick pea/sweet potato/kale soup that turned out pretty good: spicy, smokey, autumnal, sweet. if anyone's interested:

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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