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January 2013 Dish of the Month - SOUP

Happy New Year everyone

It looks like Soup is the winner in our little poll. So go forth and sample soup anywhere in the county from the International border to Camp Pendleton and see what you can find. Then come back to this thread and post what you've found.

Remember, this isn't exactly a "best of" contest, just an opportunity to focus on 1 particular dish.

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  1. Had lunch at DBar over the weekend and ordered the soup and sandwich.

    Soup was Tomato Basil. Nice flavor, a little texture, bits of basil. Soup, however, was not hot enough. Sandwich was a grilled cheese panino and it was oozy good with 3 cheeses.

    Sandwich was a bit hard to dip in the soup and the soup a bit too thick for dipping, but it was a nice combo on a cold day. Soup still needed to be hotter.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Sorry, but "over the weekend" is not January 2013.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        You're right, it's not.

        You're the one who put up the other soup thread, you should have a pretty good list of places to try, so let's see what's in your bowl ;-)

    2. Man I'm in North County soup is gonna be hard....I shall try. Menudo and Pho count right? I know how that comes across but I am really just trying to classify soup. Because I actually have go to places for both the later. I know it's not about the best but still.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chris2269

        Soup is soup, pho, menudo, pozole...they all count.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            Does chili count?

            I don't want to get into a debate whether chili is or is not "soup" (or stew or whatever), just wanna know if it counts.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I don't recall that chili came up in the initial discussion as a soup, we probably can't count it as a soup for the purposes of this thread.

          2. re: chris2269

            Menudo, Pho, Chili, whatever... get your soup on!

          3. Flame jacket zipped up. I am a great fan of French onion soup. I wish I wasn't so busy (lazy?) as I should make it more at home. In the meantime, i almost always order French onion soup if its on the menu. There have been some significant disappointments at some supposedly high-quality "French" restaurants. Believe or not, my favorite, in San Diego, and i dined there just a couple days ago, is the French onion soup at Mimi's in Mission Valley. Big crouton, lots of melted cheese, lots of onion, tasty stock. Probably a lot of sugar too, compared to some of its competitors although there is no overt sugar taste. I lived in Paris for a couple of years, so that should give me the creds to judge this???

            5 Replies
            1. re: wrldtrvl

              Sugar???? not!

              Today it's chic soup!

              1. re: wrldtrvl

                ' I lived in Paris for a couple of years, so that should give me the creds to judge this???'

                Éminence grise
                ; )

                1. Thanks DD for organizing. Soup is the perfect cold weather first dish of the month pick! (although, I'm from Michigan so cold is all relative...:)

                  Had the fish soup at Karinas Mexican Seafood Cuisine in Leucadia today. I've walked in with a number of folks sitting in front of big bowls of fish soup.

                  It was..... ok to not so good. Didn't seem too much more than Pollock broth. Sure.... throw enough cilantro, onion, lime, salsa in broth and you can pass most a soup. However, above and beyond this - not so much...

                  I am able to get my el pastor taco fix here but so far not much else. I'll probably try the sopa de birria (a la goat) at some point in time to try one last non-pastor selection.

                  Other recent soups (although not this month) include Pho at Kim's Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant in encinitas. I was on the search for good pho nearby without having to trek elsewhere. I guess I'd probably go again if was feeling lazy and didn't want to drive. but otherwise no. Any other good Pho in the Del Mar to Carlsbad area?

                  Other recents include pork bone potato soup at Chon Ju Jip and wonton and bbq pork egg noodle soup at Minh Ky. I would eat these again.

                  The month is young! Now that I know soup is the dish of the month, I'll try to find some good eats!

                  1. Mushroom soup..
                    Any one have some great shrum soup so I'm not driving all around the County..
                    Nobody has time for that.

                    Lourdes and La Especial Norte on the 101 has some of the best chicken soup.

                    1. #33 pho at Saigon.

                      Tonkatsu Ramen with a skewer of chicken at Underbelly.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Fake Name

                        Know of any places that have oxtail soup?

                        1. re: cstr

                          At least for Chinese oxtail soup, it's one of those dishes that never appear on menus, reserved almost exclusively for home cooking.

                          Sort of like, oh I don't know ... tuna casserole maybe?

                        2. I really like the soups that Christian Gomez' kitchen at Wet Stone delivers. I am particularly a fan of his Moqueca

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: ibstatguy

                            That soup looks delicious. What is it? Almost looks like a morel on the right hand side but I suppose it is wilted kale?

                            1. re: ibstatguy

                              Is the Moqueca back on the menu? I haven't been to Wet Stone for a while. But last time I was there, it was not available.

                              1. re: notjustastomach

                                I was so inspired by the photo of the Moqueca that I made it for dinner tonight. Super easy. Covers all the food groups. Fabulous taste (as long as you like coconut milk...)

                                1. re: notjustastomach

                                  The Moqueca is, I think, more likely to be on the dinner menu but I lucked out yesterday as some was available at lunch

                                2. re: ibstatguy

                                  Thanks for the fab pic!

                                  Inspired me to make it last night and it was delicious..

                                3. I'm bending the rules a bit and including stew.

                                  Georges Modern Chanterelle Stew -
                                  60 degree egg roasted onion jam, potato foam.

                                  I know this isn't a "best of" contest, but this is the best stew I've had and one of the best dishes I've tasted in recent memory. I rarely order soups/stews, but I would get this again and again. The potato foam is more like a thick mouse, the soft boiled egg, and sweet roasted onions. I really can't recommend it enough.

                                  Oscar's Mexican Seafood - Fish Stew
                                  to quote myself " A mildly spiced vegetable broth filled with spoon sized chunks halibut, marlin, shrimp, scallops, and fish of the day (octopus on my last visit). You’ll be surprised by just how much fish and flavor can fit into a small Styrofoam cup, especially given the $2 price tag"

                                  1. Pozole at Pozoleria Dona Maria - it's such a ways but makes it all the more special when we get to visit.

                                    The tonkatsu ramen at Yamadaya - ate there last night and, again, am blown away at the porky, silky richness of the broth.

                                    Best soup in town? My wife's...

                                    1. 4 days into the month, and while the thread has certainly generated lots of replies, it has otherwise been an epic fail.

                                      Other than one live report of soup being sampled that wasn't even *in* January, there are no other actual live, real-time reports, which is what DotM threads are supposed to be about ...

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        It's 4 days into the month, and you're calling "epic fail"?


                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Then do you best to make it unfail.

                                          You've been a great addition to this board Ipsedixit, but you haven't done much to contribute to the thread either. You've been good at pointing out we've "failed" but not so good at sharing your own forays in search of soup.

                                          Come on dude (or dudette as the case may be) go eat soup and share...

                                          1. Tempura Udon soup at Sushi Mura (new at Liberty Station) was excellent.

                                            1. Pho Oceanside. Beef Pho. Very few pho options up here but not bad. Good service, reasonable, could use a little more depth in flavor but 6.5 out of 10.

                                              Sorry it took so long.....please I was passed out till the 3rd:)

                                              Just to help out I included Gumbo from TBG Oceanside. If that does not count I am sorry but you should still eat it 9 out of 10.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: chris2269


                                                Congrats. You're the inaugural winner of the first live account of the San Diego DotM thread ...

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Please tell me I get a pony or a tiara...say it's true...both.

                                                  1. re: chris2269

                                                    You get a tiara studded with diamond ponies!

                                              2. Last night after returning from a week of skiing in Mammoth, we were needing some hearty asian goodness and visited Convoy Tofu House. I ordered my usual kimchee and tuna stew. The side dishes were passable, kim chee, boiled bean sprouts, boiled spinach, sweet pickled cucumber, sweet soy potatoes, and one more which I don't remember. Then came what we were waiting for, the fiery red, bubbling caldron of tofu stew and a side of rice. It was spicy, hearty and everything that I was craving. I usually eat this by scooping up a little rice with my spoon and then dipping it in the stew the get a little bit of rice and tofu in one bite....you definitely can't get this in Mammoth!

                                                1. Would like to try a Caldo de Siete Mares(Seven seas soup) preferably done central american style if anyone knows one in San Diego. I had one at a central american small takeout place in Los Angeles near the convention center and I haven't found anywhere that came close to the quality(took 45 mins though). I wish they had it at super cocina :[

                                                  1. I met up with a friend for lunch today at the new (opened on Dec. 6th) El Charco in Chula Vista. Among the variety of items we tried was the Consomé de Pollo Especial.

                                                    It comes in 3 sizes, small - $2.50, medium - $5.25 and large $6.50. We both ordered the small which turned out to be about the size of a regular soup bowl, 12 oz +/-. The soup was chicken broth, rice, garbanzos, chicken meat and hard boiled egg. As with many Mexican restaruants this was accompanied by a try of chopped onion, cilantro, chiles and lime wedges. There were also 4 table salsas from which to chose as well.

                                                    The soup was basically pretty good, and that's what it was...basic, it really needed the addition of some of the condiments. I thought it needed a little more salt, my dining companion did not. The rice, garbanzos, chicken and egg were all fine, I just wish the consume had a little more depth of flavor to it, even it was the ubiquitous Knorr Suisse caldo de pollo. I hope/suspect that the quality of the chicken broth will probably improve as the restaurant is in business longer. At $2.50 it was still a very good value no matter how good or not the soup was.

                                                    I will do a separate post of the other stuff we ate because there were some real winners, including a very, very good chorizo.

                                                    1. Had the clam chowder at Point Loma Seafood. Not memorable.

                                                      (Also, the fish sandwich kind of sucks. Too much breading.)

                                                      Move along, nothing to see here.

                                                      1. Edited because I repeated another poster's question.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                                          I'd settle for a good caldo de uno mares.

                                                        2. Love the the onion soup at Luc's Bistro and had it again last night. Not your traditional French onion soup and not billed as such. Instead it's a cup of dark slightly sweet deliciousness thick with onions in a base I'm guessing contains a good quantity of red wine and it's served with a small swiss cheese topped toast on the side. I'd like to see the option of a larger serving so I could make a meal of it.

                                                          Topic's not dessert of the month, but I ended my meal with a taste of 2 yummy sweet treats. Husband had the chocolate mousse and it was fantastic. I don't recall it being as thick and rich as what I tasted last night. Mmmmmm. I had some great off menu toasted coconut gelato that they brought in for some holiday meals. Said it was from Bubby's in Encinitas. Don't know the place, but I'll definitely head there for more.

                                                          1. After meaning to go for several years, we went to Bud's Louisiana Kitchen on Saturday for lunch. Very nice little place with excellent food and service. Having been to New Orleans many times, we found the seafood gumbo to have a great balance of flavor, texture and heat, and a fair representation of cajun chow (the catfish po' boy was also no slouch).

                                                            1. First- I don't know if it's a soup. It's soupy, and has foodstuff in it. Is a soup defined by its particular liquid-to-solids ratio? When is it merely a dish with a lot of sauce?

                                                              And is it "authentic"? If it's not "authentic" does that mean it's not soup, or merely unworthy of the slightest mention?

                                                              Because around here it's so easy to misstep. Easy to offend, to make a fool of oneself, to suffer the righteous indignation of the elitist canines in the kennel- especially He from The Great North Who No Longer Shares Our Village. Those who self-rise like flour with integrated leavening agents.

                                                              It's fear. Fear of being scolded for one's preferences, and having one's feelings dashed on the culinary rocks like a Solo cup in an angry (overly-salted) sea. Having one yum yucked for the sport of it. This Chowhound, this yum-yucking cagefight, a battle of the overly self-witted against the horribly under-tasted. It's not even a fair fight. Woe to the poster claiming to actually LIKE something not permitted by the self-overvalued.

                                                              So- what to do? I suppose I can advance disclaim:

                                                              I'm unsure it is soup.
                                                              I'm more sure it's not "authentic".
                                                              But dammit I like it and I shall, bravely and confidently, stride into the ring as a competitor, Lion or Christian, prepared for the boos and jeers of the bloodthirsty crowd and I shall proudly, over the din proclaim:

                                                              I enjoy the Chorizo con Huevo at Las Quatros Milpas.

                                                              <sharp mutual breath intake followed by a stunned silence>

                                                              Yes. Yes, I did enjoy it this very morning, I did. This very morning, thus un-damning this very thread from a fate of epic failure, I, Fake Name, did enjoy this soup-like food product. I enjoyed it in a group of individuals (remember those? Individuals?) of taste equally appalling, and we dined accompanied with the flat bread products called "tortillas" which I assume were also <sharp breath intake> not "authentic".

                                                              And let me further add: I enjoy this soup-like food product nearly every Monday morning with they who call themselves my "friends".

                                                              I willfully add chopped raw onions, cilantro and a squeeze of authentic lemon. I gleefully add the doubtlessly not "authentic" spicy cooked sauce they call "salsa" on top of the soup-like food product. And I do so with reckless abandon, abandon, I tell you!

                                                              And I Feel. No. Shame.

                                                              And I drink it with a Pepsi!

                                                              10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                    Everything was fine until you said pepsi :o

                                                                    1. re: Fake Name

                                                                      Jeez for all that drum roll I thought you were going to tell us you enjoy a finger in your chili at Wendy's. Now that would be shameful.

                                                                      1. re: Island

                                                                        Thanks a lot - the Wendy's reference would have made Souplantation post sound derivative, had I not just lost all the will to post it.

                                                                      2. re: Fake Name

                                                                        Wow, no way can I follow that act with my meager post about La Especial Norte.

                                                                        1. re: foodiechick

                                                                          "Wow, no way can I follow that act with my meager post about La Especial Norte."

                                                                          Yes, I suspect not.

                                                                          Well, on wth the thread, then.

                                                                          ; )

                                                                        2. re: Fake Name

                                                                          Well, I do not think directed at me if it was I do apologize ...I just ask "don't know if it counts...but" just really to avoid getting flamed. kinda like someone asks for a recomendation in the Gaslamp and the Restaurant you mention is 10' out of the technical chalk out line.

                                                                          Dining Diva has put a lot of unpaid work into this thread so... much respect.

                                                                          1. re: chris2269

                                                                            Nah- He From The North is further north- and he knows who he is ; )

                                                                        3. I was driving by the Deli Llama in Hillcrest at 5th and Pennsylvania. Saw their chalkboard listing mushroom and pablano soup and knew I had to stop. It is a cream based soup but very light texture with small pieces of mushroom and pepper throughout. Wow was it good. Just the right amount of spice. Makes me want to go back and try more of their soups.

                                                                          1. We had lunch at the San Diego Soup Shoppe yesterday.

                                                                            We ordered three soups, Mushroom and Brie, Mediterranean Lentil, and Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda.

                                                                            Mushroom and Brie: Divinely creamy and delicious. The wonderful earthy mushroom flavor burst through the heavier ingredients. Wonderful soup.

                                                                            Mediterranean Lentil: Tasty, not overly salty. Lentil is kind of a forgettable soup for me. I think it's more of a healthy, workhorse kind of soup. Fans of Lentil soup would probably love it.

                                                                            Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda: The FAVORITE. I don't know how they made this but it involved some kind of kitchen wizardry. This was an incredibly rich soup, but the bright flavor of the Roasted Red Pepper boasted it's strong flavor chops, and somehow the Gouda cheese also made it's profile known.

                                                                            SDSS charges $6 for a bowl of soup. They also have sandwiches and salads. This is a tiny restaurant with an outdoor patio, so ordering your food to go is a good idea, (for now, unless you want freeze). Their prices are fair and the service is welcoming and friendly. We will go back.


                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Dagney

                                                                              Thanks. I really have to check this place out.

                                                                              1. re: Dagney

                                                                                We went to San Diego Soup Shoppe today. Perfect to warm up after the cold wind. I had the Mushroom Brie Soup and it was excellent. Strong mushroom flavor, plenty of mushroom pieces and, along with diced onions there are small pieces of shredded potatoes-adds a nice texture. I did not taste the Brie but it probably added to the great texture of the soup. I split the roast beef panini--also good but not great. A bit pricey for what is really just a take-out place but I am certainly going back!

                                                                              2. Cafe Ole, inside the Port Building on PCH is offering Couscous Soup for lunch today. Veggie based soup with lots of Israeli Couscous.

                                                                                1. I just returned home from Sultan Baklava in El Cajon where they serve Turkish Lentil soup that is TO DIE. It is made fresh in house and served with fresh made bread.


                                                                                  1. Does Chinese congee count?

                                                                                    Who cares, I'm including it.

                                                                                    Had a big bowl of congee with pork and Thousand Year old eggs at Yum Cha this morning.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                        It's basically just rice porridge.

                                                                                        The way my mom used to make it is by using day old rice and just cooking it with water and simmering it down until it basically looked like white slushy grits.

                                                                                        How soupy you want the congee to be is basically a personal preference. Some like it thick, some like it thin and watery.

                                                                                        Then it's basically adding the fixins, because by itself it's pretty bland. Your typical add-ins are things like Chinese pork floss, pickled soy sauce cucumbers, pickled radishes, salted duck eggs, "Thousand Year Old" eggs, preserved bean curd, Chinese crullers (or yiou-tiao), bbq pork, duck, fatty pork, Taiwanese sausages, etc. A true tabula rasa.

                                                                                        My favorite combo is congee mixed with Chinese pork floss and diced up pickled soy sauce cucumbers.

                                                                                        One of the fondest memories of my childhood was having my grandmother spoon feed me congee by my bedside as I recovered from a bad bout of "Chiang Kai-shek Revenge".

                                                                                        Come with me to Montebello and the congee is on me.

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                          ipse dixit scores again on the rebound. :)

                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                            Great description of congee, along with a generous offer. How wonderful is that?

                                                                                      2. Lunch at Brothers' Provisions in RB a few days ago. The tortilla soup was OK, but generic. The curried squash soup dull. Most positive thing I can say about the latter is it was a hot addition to lunch on a chilly day.

                                                                                        However the brie and pear sandwich on walnut bread was very tasty.

                                                                                        1. Last night at Solace and The Moonlight - I hope for everyone's sake that this makes an appearance on the permanent menu.

                                                                                          Offaly Interesting: Confit of Sweet Breads, Chive Crusted Bone Marrow, White Onion-Gruyere Puree.

                                                                                          Consomme poured tableside, and I can't tell you how awesome the crusted bone marrow pieces were.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Rodzilla

                                                                                            WOW..that dish looks insane. You had me at sweet breads. That may be the most inventive dish I have seen in SD in quite a while.

                                                                                            How was the Gruyere Puree those are all heavy elements, did the dish balance?

                                                                                              1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                Chris - Completely agree. I do a lot of vicarious eat/reading and I've never seen or read about anyone making bone marrow crisps like those.

                                                                                                The dish balanced well, the gruyere puree was more of a thickener for the consomme, and having the bone marrow in such a light form gave a lot of flavor without making it too heavy.

                                                                                                Foodie - yeah, they were all from a special tasting menu (review on my site) but I'm hoping a few of them might make return appearances.

                                                                                            1. Perfect for a day when you have a cold and want something hot, simple, and cheap (as you won't be tasting too many flavors too well!): Won Ton Soup from City Wok. Chinese-American version of Chicken noodle soup--won tons instead of noodles, of course, and nice pieces of carrot, pea pods, and bok choy. No excess fat in the broth. Served the purpose.

                                                                                              1. 2 soups that I can recommend that are especially tasty are the Caldo Talapeno (usually spelled Tlalpeno) with big chunks of chicken, some chitpotle chiles, rice, avocado and onion and the Shrimp Soup at Palomino's (9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, SD). If you go there at lunchtime, you'll see bowls of it at just about every other table!

                                                                                                Had high hopes for the soups at the Soup Shoppe but the Clam Chowder, while it tasted pretty good, was separating and kind of curdling. The Lobster Bisque was somewhat bland and not hot enough. Soup should be hot...duh!

                                                                                                Otay Farms Market in Chula Vista has some of the most flavorful Caldo de Res (Beef Soup) I've ever had. Lots of big chunks of meat along with the usual corn, potatoes, etc. You can get their freshly made, delicious tortillas to go.

                                                                                                1. How about some Cauliflower Veloute?

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                    "Veloute"? Some kind of fancy word for soup?

                                                                                                    Just goes to show how much our experience is conditioned by our categorical knowledge.

                                                                                                    1. re: notjustastomach

                                                                                                      I think a veloute is a French term for a cream-based puree...

                                                                                                    2. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                      Is that from the Cowboy Star Restaurant Week menu?

                                                                                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                        Looks fantastic Tony.
                                                                                                        Fakey should be shaking in his boots since your food pics are really good!

                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                          Thanks for the compliment; I just point the iPhone and shoot!

                                                                                                          1. re: ibstatguy


                                                                                                            Look forward to more great point and shoot food pics!