...i really really do. i'm a soup freak. i want it any day, any time of the year. but these chilly, 50 degree temps only heighten this penchant, no, obsession. i thought about warm soup all day long today. this weather makes for such perfect soup sipping which warms my heart and my belly.
i tend to enjoy clear broths more than the rich and creamy b/c i can indulge more freely. i look for anything as simple as a homemade chicken noodle to a hearty, spicy, cumin heavy chili to something ethnic and full of interesting herbs.
so the question today is: who has your favorite soups in town? i make some pretty good ones like my chicken and white bean chili, but i'm really not doing much cooking these days. i'd also like to fool myself into thinking i can start some sort of soup diet to lose weight and the key here will be to find lots of variety to keep me on track.
so here are some of mine:
1. duck noodle soup @ kim tai - braised duck, egg noodles, greens, fried shrimp chip on top, rich, grease-laden broth. smokey duck meat strangely reminiscent of the turkey legs i love at the ren fest. i won't fool myself into thinking i can eat this one as much as i want to.
|duck noodle soup from Kim Tai|
|fried shrimp chip on top of soup from Kim Tai|
2. nam kang woon sen (B4) @ asia market - clear noodle soup with tofu, ground pork, veggies. tofu is inevitably overcooked, but the pork is tender and the broth is very flavorful. pretty healthy methinks.
3. tom kha gai @ vieng thai - hot and spicy soup w/ coconut milk, chicken, straw mushrooms and flavored with lemongrass, galangal ginger, kaffir leaves. the soup is so exceptionally balanced between savory, spicy, creamy, and coconutty and seems lighter than most versions. sooo good. okay, no way is this low-cal either.
|tom kha gai from Vieng Thai|
4. canh chua tom @ mai's - vietnamese hot and sour shrimp soup w/ pineapple, okra, bean sprouts. fried garlic on top. tangy, hearty and delicious although a bit greasy.
5. pho @ thien an (or pho saigon) - thien an is my first choice but if it's after 6pm or a saturday thien an is closed and pho saigon is not a bad second. i usually get pho tai w/ meatballs. if i'm feeling a bit more adventurous i'll add tendon. i love the plate of fresh bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, and jalapeno and the star of anise and vietnamese cinnamon flavors of a good pho broth. i am convinced pho is healthy. even if you know better, please don't inform me otherwise.
|pho tai from Thien An|
6. sopa azteca @ la mexicana - chicken broth, chicken, cubes of avocado and panela cheese, chipotle peppers, tortilla strips. quite healthy. the panela cheese makes the dish (and the inevitable series of margaritas don't hurt either).
7. tortilla soup @ el rey taqueria - definitely a meal. tons of pulled chicken (probably leftover rotisserie chicken), avocados, veggies, cheese, tortilla strips. wins the award for best takeout since they have a drive-thru and you can literally go in your pajamas.
8. hot and sour soup @ doozo dumplings - wins the award for biggest pain in the ass to get to (only open weekday lunches, located in the park shops). if you can't find a meter, parking will cost you more than your whole meal, but boy is it good. veggie dumplings and hot and sour soup. i have to admit their soup is even better than my family's. i wish i could buy buckets of this stuff. don't tell but i steal hot chili oil from the wok and roll chinese place in the same courtyard which makes it even more hot = better.
9. chicken avgolemono @ niko nikos- chicken, rice, lemon juice, diced carrots and onions in chicken broth. another healthy choice. not THAT exciting, but good wholesome stuff.
10. caldo de pollo @ taqueria la tapatia - chicken still on the bone with skin in tact, clean and clear chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, corn and diced avocado, onions, cilantro, rice on the side. wins the award for good healthy choice at 2 am after a night of drinking.
|caldo de pollo from La Tapatia|
11. chicken congee @ tan tan - rice porridge with pulled chicken and fresh julienned ginger. comfort food at its healthiest. get someone to pick up some of this stuff for you the next time you are sick. the ginger does wonders.
12. soon tofu soup @ tofu village - it is impossible to resist that bubbling hot, fiery red, fluffy soft tofu soup. crack a raw egg into it and let it slowly poach. the problem here is that it's also impossible to resist the galbi and free banchan which quickly makes any visit here more of a gorge fest than a small humble and comforting meal. here's a photo of the soon tofu soup in LA which looks identical to tofu village's even down to the bowl.
|soon tofu soup from Beverly Soon Tofu (LA)|
13. mushroom cappuccino @ VOICE - crimini, portabello, shitake mushrooms, truffle oil, porcini powder, white wine, chicken stock and lots and lots of cream - 3 cups exactly, i have the recipe- PLUS a 1/2 cup of whipping cream for the topping. delish? yes.
14. crab bisque @ mardi gras grill - i think all bisques are pretty effing good. i mean, how can they not be with all the heavy cream that goes into it?? i think the crab bisque here is exceptional even if it's thick enough to be a sauce. the warm fluffy white rice on the side is a must for me to use to help balance out the fat.
15. soup buffet @ sweet tomatoes - soup buffet! AYCE soup! my fav here is the black bean soup which you can garnish with all the sour cream and green onions you want from the tater bar. turkey chili is good too and low-cal (or so they say) w/o the AYCE shredded cheddar option.
okay, now your turn to share. i'm hardly in love with any local gumbos or chowders and still haven't found the perfect pozole yet. what do you suggest?