I don’t think I’d have a reason to like winter if I couldn’t call it “soup season.” Winter with no soup is like bare feet with no fuzzy socks, chapped lips with no lip balm, a new day with no sunrise. Winter would be all cold weather and no reward.
Luckily, chefs around town like Clark Barlowe of Heirloom are concocting soups to keep the magic of the season alive. Barlowe stirred up a Winter Stew featuring Cottle Farm spring onion and broccoli, Barbee Farm garlic, Rowland’s row-put-up tomatoes, and Orrman’s-Cheese-Shop-sourced Norwood cheese.
This is a bowl of nostalgia. “The soup was inspired by the public school lunch you always had on snowy days,” said Barlowe, who served it at his restaurant on the first cold day of Charlotte’s wintry stretch.
Luckily, the Instagram reveals that the warm, snuggly feeling of soup has been all over Charlotte restaurant menus during this past week’s cold snap. Sure, soup menus are often in flux (so check availability before you set out), but here’s where you can hope to dip a spoon into the following:
The Chicken Tortilla Soup at Paco’s Tacos and Tequila involves poached chicken, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and chilies. It’s garnished with cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, lime and tortilla strips.
Soup of the sea
The She Crab Soup at Eddie’s Place is concisely described on the menu as: “a must.”
According to this photo, you could probably pair the Broccoli Cheddar Soup at Owen’s Bagel with… a bagel.
Creamy, classic soup
The Classic Tomato Bisque Soup at Local Loaf looks sufficiently artsy nestled next to an open-faced sandwich with egg.
The Drunken Onion soup at Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub features onions cooked in Jameson Whiskey, then finished in beef broth and topped with Pepper Jack cheese. And baked.
Luna’s Living Kitchen brings a layer of complexity to the Field Pea and Leek Soup by adding smoked Himalayan sea salt and cashew sour cream. Not to mention that fancy drizzle design.
The Chicken and Dumpling soup at The Mayobird has been endorsed by Pure Intentions Coffee, as evidenced here in the comments section. [Related: Why you should buy Charlotte-roasted coffee beans, and where.]
A twist of Thai
Crusty French bread should probably be dunked into the Spicy Thai Sweet Potato soup at Amelie’s French Bakery.
Forget the spoon.
Photo: Katie Toussaint