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Oct 14, 2012 06:38 AM

Best soups in Boston area??

As fall has arrived I'd love to hear everyone's list of favorite soups in the area! (I'm determined to find the best Asian and French onion this season!)

-Sam's mushroom barley (when they have it on special) is one of the best/ most memorable I've had in a while.

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      1. re: phatchris

        there are several posts on soups so you should do a board search. For takeout, New England Soup Factory is excellent (though if you are salt-sensitive I will say they don't spare the salt). Their chicken soup, spicy soups like shrimp and rice, and chowders like fennel tomato, are as good as it gets. For Asian, I love the Can Chua at Sunrise in Dorchester. Penang makes an excellent Tom Yum style soup and Jo Jo Taipei makes very good hot and sour seafood soup. Shanghai Gate makes wonderful mild Chinese soups: winter melon and ham, shrimp, spinach and tofu, and their wonton soup among others. West Bridge makes a very good smoked clam chowder. Family Restaurant makes a variety of very good Turkish-style vegetable soups, including white bean and lentil. A mission to try all the possible soups would be time well spent! And on French Onion, I'm fond of the version at Cognac Bistro.

        1. re: teezeetoo

          wow, tz, looks like bella asked the right person here!! sounds like soupgirl would be a good moniker for you! when you mention the tomato fennel chowder, plse describe. it's chunky, not creamy? and is new eng soup factory avail in stores or where?

          bella, i love the corn coconut milk soup at East by Northeast, and the coconut sweet potato soup at Myers+Chang, and the soups at Chez Henri have been some of the best I've had in Boston, over the years. And then there's the pork ramen at Sapporo Ramen.

          One of my all time fav soups is in Portland Me., the tomato fennel bisque, a signature dish at Duck Fat.

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            New England Soup Factory has two locations, one in Brookline near Station Street stop in Brookline Village, and one in Newton on Needham street I think. Their recipe for creamy tomato soup with fennel is on the web and it's terrific. It's creamy and not chunky but you could easily alter that. Their soups change daily except for the staples of chicken vegetable, chili, clam and corn chowder, and lobster bisque. They'll usually have 5 or six different daily soups and you can often find others in their freezer. It's my go-to takeout place when I don't make my own soup unless I'm in the mood for an Asian-inspired soup.

            1. re: teezeetoo


              thi is great, tz! after enduring the snotty server and his mistakes at Duck Fat last week(for my annual fix of take away tomato fennel soup) i resolved to just make it myself (certainly easy enough; but you know the syndrome.) So this will spur me on. i'll just add fennel seed to the saute and be a happy camper!

              It took me many yrs to realize that 'soup makes the chef' but i do believe it. I remember now that Jason Santos did some really wonderful soups at gargoyles. I don't know if he's doing any on his Blue Inc menu now, but i hope so.

    1. My favorite Asian soups lately are at Mulan, the sweet and sour, or the pork chop noodle. And Quindao does a really good pork chop noodle as well. Somedays, those chicken-pork broths are the only thing I want.

      3 Replies
      1. re: smtucker

        sm, how DO you eat that soup?are you chop stix- dexterous enough to bite off a bit of the chop , or do you cheat (as would, ahemmm, someone i know) and cut up the chop first? though i suppose it wouldn't matter if i brought it home......

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          At Mulan, they serve the chop on a side plate, and I rip the one I eat during meal into smaller pieces with my hands, discreetly. Then I can use my chopsticks to put a piece of meat in the spoon, with some noodle and broth. The whole egg in the soup is the real challenge! [I always get two meals out of this soup.]

          At Qingdao, the pork is in smaller pieces but with the bone attached, in the soup, so that is a bit more complicated. But I love the soup so much, I am willing to throw a few Western etiquette rules out the window.

          1. re: smtucker

            the weather is getting cooler; i want some hot and sour won-ton soup from Golden Garden.

            Thanks for the tip, Striper

      2. For Asian, nothing beats Sichuan Gourmet (Brookline and Natick), try the spicy fish or beef stew with napa cabbage. Yummmmmm