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Jul 22, 2002 05:55 PM


  • f

Who's got the best soups in and around Boston?

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  1. I've always enjoyed the soups at the New England Soup Factory -- mostly takeout, although they have some seating as well. I've been to the branches in Brookline Village (across from the T stop, directly above Bertucci's) and on Needham St. in Newton. I think there's also one in the Back Bay. I've never tried their cold soups, though, which seem preferable in this weather.

    Oh, and the oxtail soup at Matt Murphy's Pub in Brookline Village is fabulous.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MichaelB

      Umm, likewise their potato-leek!

      Don't you think that NE Soup Factory relies on LOTS of fat and cream for punch? I mean, I know fat is good, and they're almost the only game in town...

      Bread and Circus actually does a Roasted Vegetable Gazpacho, with a citrus and pineapple base that I love in hot weather...better than their regular gazpacho.

      1. re: galleygirl

        Hmm, that B&C roasted veg. gazpacho sounds great. I'll have to try it sometime.

        Re NESoup Factory, I think the fat/cream amounts vary with the soup. I don't generally get the cream soups, so I can't comment on those, but the chicken soup does have a nice slick of schmalz on top. The other soups I've tried vary quite a bit depending on the soup. It's never seemed excessive to me, though. Honestly, it's been so long since it's been cold enough for me to crave soup, I can't *remember* the ones that seemed leaner and the ones that were richer. I'll let you know in about six months!

    2. b
      Bill "the account"

      Just by chance today I was in Chinatown and stopped by Pho Hoa. My all time favorite dish for Vietnamese is Bun Rieu. It's a hot soup made with a light tomato and crabmeat base broth. The flavor is more intense than a bowl of Pho. The condiment you add into the soup is identical to Pho (cilantro, beansprout, basil and lime) but the broth itself is worth slurping to the last drop. Even though it was 94 degrees today the soup really hit the spot!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bill "the account"

        If you liked the bun rieu at Pho Hoa, a national chain, BTW, try it at Nam Vang, just a little down the street..they up the ante with some dried shrimp paste that really deepens its complexity

        1. re: galleygirl
          Bill "the account"

          Are we talking about the grey paste with a very pungent smell? If so they didn't have it at Pho Hoa, but I have encountered that paste at other Vietnamese restaurant. In Dallas they would bring out a jar and asked if you would like to add some specifically to the Bun Rieu. As a matter of fact I've seen many times the paste was eaten with green apples. I hope we're talking about the same thing here.

          1. re: Bill "the account"

            Mmmm, no, more like something related to belacan, some kind of dried, shrimp mixed into the soup, almost mixed with the seafood, into balls not a condiment you add...tho if you like the taste of the grey paste, you'll love the bun rieu there!

      2. a while back i had a fish chowder at tea tray in the sky (porter square) that was sooo good, i swear if i hadn't been in public i would have licked the bowl clean. and my hairdresser, in the same neighborhood, said the same thing.

        it wasn't a creamy new england style; it had a tomato/lobster base, but with more substance that a real manhattan clam chowder. it was filled with shrimp, scallops, lobster and some white fish, may have been cod.

        unfortunately, i haven't seen it on the menu since. but in general, all the soups there are quite good.

        1. One of my favs is the Pork, Mustard Green & Salted Egg (hum tan) soup at Chinatown Seafood in Coolidge Corner. So good!
          Trader Joe's tomato bisque is pretty good for a supermarket chain.
          Clam chowder from Legal (speaking of chains), also the chowder at Tom O'Shea's in Essex.

          1. a couple of my favorite quickies in cambridge:

            hi-rise bakery has a rotating selection of excellent freshly made soups

            darwin's has 1 or 2 interesting choicesevery day

            ramen, etc in the porter sqaure exchange... pick your broth, your meats, your tofu, your veggies, etc.