Archive for the 'Soup on the Town' Category

Beer Cheese Soup at the Schlafly Tap Room

Beer cheese soup at the Schlafly Tap Room is, to me at least, a St. Louis classic. For one thing, it already includes beer and cheese, two of the three main local food groups  (add a bit of bacon and you could hit them all).  I’ve had this soup (or at least a taste of my husband’s) pretty much every time that we visit. I think he especially likes that it comes with an extra shot of beer on the side.

On the menu the soup’s description is just “creamy vegetables, cheese, ale.” A great foundation upon which a lot of soups could be built — and also, a platform that allows them to mix things up a bit.  In the past the soup had been made with traditional cheddar, and featured a tangy underlying beer flavor. Perhaps it’s seasonal, or maybe they just had extra white cheddar lying around, but this time things were different — the soup was white, and the mild cheddar resulted in a more pronounced onion flavor. Also they use the super-hoppy IPA both in the soup and in the extra shot on the side — the strong beer taste cut through all of the other ingredients and really dominated the soup. Still — ultimately, it was delicious. I guess it’s really hard to go wrong with the combo of beer and cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque at Winslow’s Home

As I mentioned in my last post, I moved last weekend. My kitchen is still… in progress, which means we’ve been eating out a bit more, and for dinner this week I popped into a little neighborhood grocery store/cafe called Winslow’s Home. This spot is great not only for the eclectic inventory and freshly-made menu, but also its focus on locally-sourced items. And when I saw that they were offering a roasted red pepper bisque in their small pre-made takeout section, well, how could I resist? And when I noticed, scrunched onto the side of the label the words ” w/blue cheese,” I was completely intrigued.

And the soup was fantastic! With a strong but not overwhelming red pepper flavor, lots of other veggies in evidence as well, and of course a tangy note from the blue cheese, I was very pleased. Not exactly a bargain, at $6 for what could be 2 large or 3 small servings, but it was so good (and easy) that I kind of don’t care.

Dill Pickle Soup at The Fountain on Locust

DILL PICKLE SOUP. That’s right. I read about this soup on the Riverfront Times’s Gut Check blog a few weeks ago and I knew I had to check it out.

The Fountain on Locust is a charming spot downtown. The location has a simple diner feel, with the food being quite a few steps above regular diner fare. Plus they have a full bar, with a large selection of creative mixed cocktails. Now to the soup: it’s essentially a simple potato soup, with the added salty sweetness of dill pickle flavor. It might sound kind of weird, but trust me it’s really worth a try–it’s delicious. (Even my super-picky little sister liked it.)

Click the link below for a video describing their dill pickle soup making process:
Dill Pickle Soup at The Fountain on Locust from ToastedRav .com on Vimeo.

Vegetable Soup @ SLAM

Today I had lunch at the Saint Louis Art Museum — which, by the way, is hosting an exhibition of Ming Dynasty pieces that is absolutely worth checking out — and was pleasantly surprised by a delicious vegetable barley soup that they were serving at Puck’s Cafe. Now I have strong opinions about vegetable soup (and how boring it usually is — thoughts which are really best left to a later post) and I found the soup at Puck’s to be excellent. It involved a myriad of fresh, colorful veggies in a thick, tomato-y, and pleasantly spicy broth. Plus the service was very good (I love any spot that will let you taste a soup before you commit!).

Crawfish Bisque at Vin de Set

Last weekend we took advantage of the nice weather and dined in the outdoor patio at Vin de Set in Lafayette Square. It was, as usual, a great experience–excellent service, a lovely atmosphere, and an interesting menu. Their soup du jour was a crawfish bisque, and I couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately, the soup was a disappointment. For one, it had an unappealing color and texture–light brown, and mostly smooth with some sandy chunks. The crawfish flavor was fairly strong, but it was still overwhelmed by a salty Old Bay taste. It was sort of an Old Bay bisque. Bummer!

Contemporary Art + Soup

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is hosting a special event this Saturday (February 28)–as part of their regular Front Room series–featuring art, wine, and soup. Clearly, they are after my heart.  (I also happen to like their current show, Gedi Sibony: My Arms Are Tied Behind My Other Arms quite a lot — soup or no soup, it’s worth the trip.)

Details >>

Soup on the Brain

See, it’s not just me. People have soup on the brain these days!

Today Sauce (St. Louis food magazine) blogs about some local soup hotspots in a semi-regular feature that announces the soups du jour around town [Soup of the day]

And another St. Louis-based blogger discusses a love of Companion, a local soup spot favorite of mine as well [i wanted soup for lunch...]

Plus, this week’s episode of Top Chef was practically a gumbo cook-off. [Gumbo recipes from Top Chef site]

Roasted Tomato Soup at Mihalis Chophouse

While I’m not a big Valentines Day person (and really — who is?) — I pretty much never pass up the opportunity to go out to a yummy dinner. So we picked Mihalis Chophouse, a place I’ve wanted to try because it puts an intriguing Greek spin on my husband’s favorite type of fancy dinner out, the prime steakhouse.

I wish I would have brought my camera, because I tried the soup du jour and it was both very pretty and tasty. It was a roasted tomato soup, with a goat cheese and shrimp crostini on top. The soup was delicious — sweet, but with a strong smoky flavor from the roasted tomatoes. There was a basil oil drizzle was also quite good and added a subtle and fresh note to the overall flavor.

I’ll try to remember to sneak my camera in next time I go out to eat so that I can start documenting any good soup finds on the town. I have so many friends who like to take pictures of their food when traveling I’m also thinking of starting a Flickr group dedicated to people’s (homemade and restaurant) soup pics…

The Soup Obsession

I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with soup.

Okay actually it’s a pretty healthy obsession, as far as obsessions go.

Looking back, I think my obsession really started with a wonderful restaurant that I worked at while I was an undergrad. It was a family-owned spot called Kona Bistro in Oxford, Ohio. (Check it out if you ever find yourself in the middle of nowhere in southeastern Ohio, or visiting Miami University.)

The great thing about Kona Bistro was its commitment to quality ingredients. Prior to my time there I had only worked at big corporate-owned places with an assembly-line approach to food. As a server at Kona, I did not have the pleasure of crafting dishes myself, although eventually I ingratiated myself to the kitchen staff who usually loved to dish about their recipes and techniques. And the owners were generous with their soup — wait staff could pretty much eat the soup for free during a shift, a perk that I took full advantage of during my time there.

Prior to my time at Kona I liked cooking to a certain degree, but I  hadn’t thought much about soup. But once I truly understood the simple, direct pleasure a bowl of soup could bring, it started a journey of understanding flavor and ingredients and everything else that I’ve been learning so that I too could replicate the harmonious joy that is a wonderful bowl of soup.

I’ll stop before I bloviate my blog into oblivion. Suffice it to say: me likey the soup.



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