Soup is a passion of mine, and I've compiled below my Top 5 soups available in the ABQ area
BY ARIANE JAROCKI
As the days get shorter, the weather gets colder and sweaters come out of storage – along with an insatiable craving for soups of all sorts. Or is that just me? There are chilled soups (think peach or gazpacho) but when you’re layering, a warmth-giving bowl of soup is about enjoying nutrient-rich broths, veggies and tender meats. We all have our fave places to procure green chile stew, posole and menudo. Soup is a passion of mine, and I’ve compiled below my Top 5 soups available in the ABQ area. Where’s your spoon?
There are many ramen houses in the city, but Gen Kai has come to be my best-loved. The broth is always consistent and the cuts of char shu (braised pork) are prime and never overly fatty. I adore their Shoyu Ramen, a soy-based broth with your choice of thick or regular noodles topped with pork char shu, dry seaweed, chopped green onion, bamboo shoots, a hard-boiled egg and red ginger. A newer favorite is the Okinawa Soba, a fish-and-pork broth I was initially wary of, but it shines. Toppings include fish balls, pork, diced green onion and red ginger.
Two Fools Tavern
3211 Central Ave NE
If the dark wood or the stone fireplace at Two Fools Tavern don’t make you cozy, try the Guinness Beef Stew. It’s a thick gravy with a meaty flavor that bathes tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes and celery. The Guinness itself adds a malty depth to the stew. Paired with house-made Irish brown bread, this stew is also highlighted in Two Fools’ Beef Boxty, where it’s topped with a potato pancake.
Kai’s Chinese Restaurant
138 Harvard Dr SE
A staple for University of New Mexico students for their inexpensive lunch, Kai’s presents a heady bouquet of quality flavor. When I feel like a huge bowl of soup in the campus area, this is where I head. Their Hot and Sour is amazing. The soup touches on the distinct hot and sour notes without doctoring to punch the sour flavor through. Their bowl size is generous for the price, and the lunch combo can be upgraded to include hot and sour or egg drop soup for a pittance.
Heimat House Restaurant and Beer Garden
6910 Montgomery Blvd NE
Heimat is another showstopper for their variety of soup. One unexpected offering here is the Zupa Ogorkowa aka Polish Dill Pickle Soup. Before you automatically write it off, I urge you to give it one shot. This warm soup stars dill pickles, potatoes and carrots, topped with a hearty dollop of sour cream. I mix my sour cream in before digging in, but to each their own. The dill flavor shines here, as vinegar is downplayed by sour cream and the carrots’ sweetness. If that’s too adventurous, another classic option is the Paprikas Krumpli aka Hungarian Spicy Sausage Soup.
1828 Central Ave SW
Although they’re known for their mountainous salads, don’t write off Vinaigrette as the chill comes around. The restaurant offers a four-element array. There are always that many choices, with two daily specials plus a miso-based Mushroom Stew (vegetarian) and Cajun Gumbo. Their gumbo is something I have on a practically weekly basis. It’s not overly spicy but features a complex blend of flavors. There’s a goodly amount of chicken, andouille sausage and shrimp in each bowlful. This hearty soup is a quick standalone meal there, but I lean toward the Mushroom Stew if I’m having a salad.