Louis De Guoy, author of The Soup Book wrote “There is nothing like a plate or a bowl of hot soup, it’s wisp of aromatic steam making the nostrils quiver with anticipation, to dispel the depressing effects of a grueling day at the office or the shop, rain or snow in the streets, or bad news in the papers.” Soup–whether a pho, bisque, stew, chowder or consomme– is the ultimate in comfort, enveloping you in its luxurious embrace of concordant flavors and ingredients. By clicking on the name of the restaurant for which you wish to know my opinion, you will be magically transported directly to my review of that restaurant. Here are my favorites:
|Soup||Restaurant||City||Why It’s On the List|
|Poblano Soup||Epazote||Santa Fe||A transformative elixir which will make you swoon with its utter perfection. It’s a masterpiece of ingredients and flavors you swear shouldn’t go so well together. The best soup in New Mexico!|
|Spicy Beef Stew||Cafe Dalat||Albuquerque||Brimming with flavor and served steaming in a swimming pool sized bowl, this soup is made from fifteen different spices, giving it an unforgettable piquant, spicy and savory taste.|
|Ginger Peanut Butternut Squash Soup||Jambo Cafe||Santa Fe||Jambo is the perennial winner of Santa Fe’s annual Souperbowl and this might be the cafe’s very best soup. It’s a concordance of deliciousness and an optimization of complementary ingredients.|
|Tonkotsu Spicy Miso Ramen||O Ramen||Albuquerque||This isn’t the ramen of your impoverished collegiate past. This is ramen all grown up and as rich and delicious as any soothing, comforting elixir you’ll ever have.|
|Curried Black Bean-Sweet Potato Soup||Jambo Cafe||Santa Fe||Santa Fe’s Souperbowl award-winning soup for 2011, the complexity and depth of flavors of this intoxicating elixir are addictive. It’s so good it’ll make grown men swoon.|
|Tortilla Soup||Luminaria||Santa Fe||First a concave bowl is presented at your table–its contents: unctuous, buttery avocado chunks and crispy red and yellow corn tortilla chips. Then a pitcher of steaming soup is poured over the top–chopped cilantro, fresh corn niblets and diced organic chicken in tow. As much fun to see constructed as it is to eat.|
|Fresh Fish Pepper Soup||Talking Drums||Albuquerque||This traditional Nigerian soup has the qualities of pungency, fragrance, piquancy, herbaceousness in seemingly unlimited amounts. Those qualities add up to sheer deliciousness.|
|Special Noodle Soup||Viet Q||Albuquerque||This is a soup that truly earns the designation “special” for its combination of pleasant piquancy, succulent savoriness and the sweet punctuation of anise and cinnamon.|
|Smoked Sweet Potato-Chipotle Soup||Bocadillos||Albuquerque||It’s criminal that this soup isn’t available on a daily basis. Bocadillos earns SouperBowl merit every year, and this soup is far superior to other soups entered in the event.|
|Pho Sate Kim Long||Kim Long Asian Cuisine||Albuquerque||Sate elevates this pho above other phos, imparting a potent spicy-smokiness that transforms an otherwise wonderful bowl of pho into a transcendent fiery flavored experience. You might fall in love with the heat, but you’ll return for the flavor.|
|Sate Beef Noodle Soup||Pho #1||Albuquerque||Originating in the Mekong Delta, this sate (roasted chili paste made with garlic, shrimp paste, shallots and other sundry ingredients) enlivened elixir may be the best soup in a restaurant renowned for outstanding soups.|
|Cream of Asparagus Soup||Mucho Gourmet Sandwich Shop||Santa Fe||Santa Fe’s best sandwich soup creates some of New Mexico’s very best soups. The cream of asparagus soup is stick-to-your-ribs satisfying, healthy and homemade gourmet quality soup available in what is traditionally a fast food venue|
|Smoked Turkey Soup||Back-Sass BBQ||Bernalillo||Rich and creamy soup with a strong pepper influence coalescing with the smokiness of turkey and the al dente crispness of broccoli, celery and other vegetables. It’s addictive!
|Banana Beef Stew||Cafe Dalat||Albuquerque||Made with banana shank, a boneless cut of beef with a lining of fat for flavor, this soup is simmered slowly in a five-spice broth and has properties that uplift the soul. Order it with bread so you can sop up the wondrous broth.
|Chicken Curry Stew with Mixed Vegetables||May Hong||Albuquerque||An elixir that warms, comforts and nourishes both the body and soul, it’s replete with ingredients (peas, carrots, potatoes) Midwestern mothers might use on their soups, but the curry elevates it to rarefied air.|
|Borscht||Blades’ Bistro||Placitas||Chef Kevin prepares some of the state’s most rich and luxurious soups, the best of which might be borscht, a culinary treasure in Eastern and Central Europe. Deep reddish-purple in color courtesy of beetroot, it is redolent with tomato, potatoes, beef, sour cream, garlic and dill.|
|Yukejang||Fu Yuang||Albuquerque||Redolent with the olfactory arousing aroma of chili pepper paste and served at nearly scalding temperature, this rich red-orange hued elixir is Korea’s answer to pho, but it takes a backseat to no soup anywhere.
|Seafood Bisque||Joe’s Pasta House||Rio Rancho||Great seafood bisque in landlocked Rio Rancho? You’d better believe it. This is a transformative soup, one that will take you back to the coast where fresh, off-the-boat seafood is plentiful. At Joe’s, it tastes just like that.|
|Caldo De Rez||Rey’s Place||Albuquerque||you’re the type of person who likes curling up in front of the fireplace with a steamy mug of cocoa on a cold winter day, you’re the type of person who will most appreciate Rey’s Caldo de Rez, the most comforting of Mexican comfort foods.
|Tomato-Basil Bisque||Mucho Gourmet Sandwich Shop||Santa Fe||If the pairing of tomato soup and grilled cheese is the ultimate in classic comfort food, then you’ve got to visit Mucho on a cold winter day when the featured soup is tomato-basil soup. It’s got addictive soul-warming properties that envelop you in warmth and luxury.|
|Tom Yum Soup||Siam Thai||No, Rachael “Yummo” Ray didn’t name this soup, nor is it named because of its deliciousness. This is one of several fresh, wonderfully flavored, extremely healthy and nourishing soups offered in Albuquerque’s very best Thai restaurant.|