1. New England clam chowder. And not just any recipe for this dish, but the version served at Market Street Grill and Market Street Broiler in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s the best chowder I’ve ever had, and they have been generous enough, over the years, to let the recipe into the wild. Here it is, from the source.
2. Chili. I’ll argue the chili is a form of soup or stew, so it fits in here. Chili is a year-round staple at The Burrow, and the recipe is almost always improvised: sometimes with beans, sometimes vegetarian, sometimes with corn, etc. The inspiration for my recipe is the 1977 Texas Chili Cookoff Champion, “Buzzard’s Breath” (as found in the Chili Madness cookbook).
3. Borscht. And I’m not talking about the sweet, chilled beet-and-cabbage soup you find in a New York City deli. I’m talking about Russian peasant food: beet based, with either a beef, oxtail or mushroom stock, with onion, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and cabbage, slow cooked to a lovely perfection. It’s simple peasant food, and topped with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream, it’s perfect winter soul food for me.
4. Chicken and dumplings. Simplicity again: basic chicken soup with egg-and-flour dumplings added shortly before plating.
5. Cream of broccoli. Reminds me of ski season, as it was the most reliable soup at the old Inspiration Station at Solitude Ski Area. In a bread bowl, it was perfect lunch fare.
6. Tom kha gai. This Thai soup is a marriage of chicken, coconut, lemongrass, scallions, hot peppers and oyster mushrooms. I dig it.
7. Icelandic lobster soup. I recently discovered this, and it’s awesome: basically a tomato chowder with chunks of lobster in it- yum!
8. Kjotsuppe. This is a basic lamb and vegetable stew, standard European fare. It’s filling and very tasty, and my mom used to make it often.
9. Gazpacho. Cold tomato soup? Bring it on – especially if it’s spicy!
10. Lentil stew. I’m partial to the Moroccan recipes and their spices.
(Honorable mentions: Campbells Bean & Bacon; tomato bisque; beef pho; miso with dried tofu and shredded nori.)
How about you: any soups you must have that I must try?