In pre-pandemic times, I used to host a Super Bowl get-together where I’d serve my guests what I called “super bowls” of cassoulet or chili to enjoy during the big game. With Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I’ve been reflecting on sensational soups served at some favorite restaurants. Here are a baker’s dozen of those super bowls.
It’s a Sophie’s Choice sort of situation, but if I had to single out my favorite desert island soup, it would be the matzo ball soup at Feldman’s Deli. Janet Feldman’s soul satisfying brew is chicken soup made from scratch with celery, carrots and fresh dill, a big baseball sized matzo ball, and lots of love. This sensational soup is perfect for our current situation; as you may know, chicken soup is also called “Jewish penicillin.” But Feldman’s has another superb soup up its sleeve: borscht. It’s available as a special on occasion and when it is, you shouldn’t miss it!
When I dine at Chimayo in Park City – Bill White’s homage to Southwestern cuisine and ambiance – I can’t pass up the tortilla soup. Chef Arturo Flores’ outstanding soup is based on his grandmother’s recipe, made with poblano, jalapeño and Anaheim chiles, fresh chicken stock, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spiced corn tortilla strips. It’s terrific tortilla soup.
For seafood soup, I look no further than Market Street Grill. Their hearty New England style clam chowder is award-worthy. A generous amount of clams are bathed in a rich melange of potato, celery, onion, leek, and green pepper in a broth made with half-and-half, butter, clam juice, water and sherry. The subtle herbal flavors of thyme and bay leaves round out this chowder of champions.
At the gorgeous new Laurel Brasserie & Bar in The Grand America Hotel, the French onion soup can warm the soul on the chilliest winter’s day. Thin-sliced caramelized onions are braised in a rich, delicious broth until oh-so tender and tasty, then topped with Gruyere cheese and toasted to perfection.
At Pho 33 in Midvale, you really can’t go wrong no matter what type of pho you order. I’m especially partial to the Kobe beef pho, but I also like the version with rare beef, brisket and meatballs. And, the seafood pho is also sensational. Don’t care for pho? Pho 33 also serves really good ramen, vermicelli noodle dishes, rice plates, and more.
One of the most delicious soups I’ve come across – and one of the prettiest – is the potato-leek soup at Afterword restaurant in Heber City. Finished with lemon olive oil, fried leek strips, and fresh minced chives, it’s a stellar soup from Executive Chef/Owner Matt Harris’ kitchen, as is the roasted garlic & parsnip soup served there.
I love Mexican pozole, and I especially love the hearty version served at Julia’s Mexican Restaurant. The Mexican cuisine at this cash-only eatery is made from scratch and is muy auténtico. In particular, the big bowls of caldos (soups) are irresistible, whether you order the caldo de res beef soup, albondigas (meatballs), menudo, birria de chivo (goat soup), or caldo de pollo. My favorite is the pozole with large, tender chunks of roasted pork. It’s pozole perfection.
The Olympian restaurant in SLC never disappoints. It’s a comfy and cozy spot that feels perfectly worn-in like your favorite pair of jeans. Famous for their hearty breakfasts, burgers, and popular Greek dishes, a crowd favorite is the silky homemade chicken lemon rice soup, which comes with a house salad and garlic bread. This lemony soup is simply luscious.
Up in Millcreek Canyon, Chef Dave Jones’ Log Haven menu is chock full of deliciousness. Soup lovers will slurp up every last spoonful of Log Haven’s forest mushroom soup – gluten free, hearty vegetarian soup studded with toasted hazelnuts, truffle zest, créme fraîche, and chives. It’s magnificent mushroom soup.
Let us not overlook ramen. Is there a more popular soup in America these days? I don’t think so. There is a lot of great ramen around at eateries like Kobe, Yuki Yama, Toro Ramen and others. A favorite of mine is the tonkotsu at Tosh’s Ramen, where Chef/Owner Toshio Sekikawa creates from scratch classic Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen. It’s pork broth-based, made with thin, melt-in-the-mouth slices of chashu (pork), with scallions, bean sprouts, a poached egg and thin wheat noodles that are cooked to perfection – not mushy, just slightly al dente. Tosh truly rocks the ramen.
There are so many delicious dishes to be enjoyed at the various Deer Valley Resort restaurants, it’s not easy to narrow them down to a few favorites. But a longtime fave of Deer Valley visitors and locals alike is the award-winning, famous Deer Valley Turkey Chili. It’s a rich, hearty bowl of chili with a couple dozen ingredients, from black beans and cooked diced turkey, to cayenne, Anaheim chiles, red onion, celery, red bell pepper, cumin, oregano, chicken stock, corn, butter and more, garnished with sour cream, scallions and served with crisp tortilla chips.
At Afghan Kitchen, there are a couple of Afghan-style soups that I like to begin a meal with. One is called shorwa e murgh, a street food found in Kabul of chicken soup with corn, chickpeas, turmeric and cilantro. My favorite, however, is aush – a scrumptious bowl of chicken broth, spaghetti-style noodles, chickpeas, vegetables and a sprinkling of dried mint and dill. Afghan Kitchen’s aush is awesome.
Do you have a favorite soup spot? Tell us about it!
Culinary quote of the week: “Worries go down better with soup than without.” – Jewish Proverb
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THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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