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Jan 23, 2008 08:47 AM

Birmingham - Soups

What are your favorite places and specific examples for winter soups or stews in the area?

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  1. I'm not much of a stew person, but I do love good soup. My absolute favorite is chicken coconut soup served at Thai places. Surin West used to be my favorite, but I now prefer Thai House's version. It has much less grease floating on the top and has a more balanced flavor. I also love hot and sour soup (especially when sick). Most americanized chinese places do it well. ShangriLa on Montevallo Road and Golden Palace at the Festival Center.

    The Fish Market offers a very nice gumbo and lobster bisque. The She-Crab soup at Cobb Lane is legendary. However, I haven't been there since they've changed ownership, but the soup has remained on the menu through many owners.

    When in season, Highland's offers a potato leek soup that is fabulous. Creamy goodness.

    Of course, I make the absolute best soups. My roasted garlic parmesean soup is to die for. Sadly, it's not my recipe. It belongs to

    3 Replies
    1. re: sheilal

      Try Chez Lulu's garlic soup. There's is light and brothy and fabulous. Actually, all of their soups are good. Daily specials vary.

      Tria Market in Homewood also has some tasty soups. Normally four types each day.

      1. re: sheilal

        Try the homemade soups at Urban Standard on 4th Ave. North. I had a tasty chicken noodle soup and my friend really enjoyed his tomato bisque.

        1. re: sheilal

          Highland's has a WONDERFUL veggie soup that when paired with the corn muffins in one of the best things I've ever had. I also had a soup with white beans, pork shoulder and collards at Chez Fon Fon right before Christmas. It was fantastic.

          Other than that, I like Tria's soups to-go or I make my own!

        2. Check out Bottletree on 3rd Ave. South ( They do a daily soup and make an award-winning chili. They also make good sandwiches and spreads.
          I also echo the Chez Lulu recommendation, especially the roasted garlic soup.
          I'm still looking for the primo hot and sour soup, but the one at New Chinatown in 5 Points South is pretty decent.
          Now if I can just find a place here for Hong King noodle soup with shrimp dumplings and roast duck....

          6 Replies
          1. re: Big Daddy

            The roast duck noodle soup at Thai House is not so good, or at least it wasn't today. I think the duck was sent regular mail from Thailand and it must have been the oldest duck left there. Chewy, a little more gamey than duck should be, and didn't smell like duck should. Maybe it was a pigeon. Broth was off too, weird flavor. Least favorite dish there so far. Service there is really weird too.

            Perhaps I need to go back to Surin.

            1. re: Dax

              I agree with you on the service at Thai House. It is weird. Multiple people usually come by and get your order. I always wonder if I will be 2 or 3 of everything, but they seem to get it together (at least before it comes to the table). Getting your check can sometimes be a challenge as well.

              1. re: sheilal

                I ate at Thai House three times. The last was far worse than the first and I won't go out of my way to return.

                The cafe at Little Professor in Homewood had a very nice tomato bisque.

                I love Chez Lulu's peasant garlic soup. I recently emailed the restaurant to see if they'd send me the recipe (I knew they wouldn't but it does not hurt to ask). She suggested I email the Food Sleuth (column in Friday's City Scene) and request that the recipe be featured in a column so that the restaurant can get free advertising. I emailed the author behind Food Sleuth; she said she's already asked for that recipe a few times.

                The coconut soup at Taste of Thailand has more coconut milk than Surin's; I think Surin puts more chicken broth in theirs. Both are good, though.

              2. re: Dax

                Roast Duck Soup at Red Pearl was really good last night. Lots of duck, not too gamey, baby bok choy, scallions, and lots of noodles all in a delicious broth. There are still lots of bones as it should be. Accompanied by an order of the beef with jalapenos, I waddled out of there last night with a decent amount of leftovers (which I finished tonight).

                Still need to try their plain roast duck.

                1. re: Dax

                  The Garage Cafe does a daily soup and my experiences w/ it (which is probably 15 times or more) have always been good. Of course some are better than others, but I have never had a general dislike for any of them. Always fresh tasting. They are usually pretty good about matching the weather outside w/ the style of soup as well. Also, the Veranda on Highland always has very good soups. Turtle soup, a gumbo that changes regularly and then a du jour. I've seen duck gumbo, smoked chicken and sausage, seafood, etc...all very good. I've had some good soups at Iz Cafe too.

                  1. re: mwr0978

                    Black Pearl in the Colonnade @ 280 and 459 has the best Hot & Sour soup IMHO.