Beaucoup de Soupes
du jour
By Amy Tarr

Every year around this time, my body craves soup on an almost daily basis. Forget the sandwiches and the salads.

Chef James Clark of Palette Restaurant

Charleston She Crab Soup

Chef Edgar Leal of Cacao Restaurant
Venezuelan Chicken Chupe

Chef Scott Conant of L’Impero
White Bean and Escarole Soup

Chef Richard Earl of Luce
Potato Leek Soup

Chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve
Chanterelle Mushroom Soup

Chef Lidia Bastianich of Felidia, Becco, and Lidia’s
Basic Vegetable Stock



Only a cup or bowl of the hot stuff will do. Restaurants, cafés and delis that do a brisk lunch business and have a high number of regulars are wise to offer a variety of soups on a daily basis. It makes sense to play it safe with one or two classics – chicken noodle or French onion – for those stalwart patrons.

But beyond the basics, you can put just about any kind of soup on the menu for the day. Consider vegetarian and dairy-free options like Scott Conant’s hearty Tuscan White Bean and Escarole Soup from L’Impero in New York, as well as something a bit richer, as in Cathal Armstrong’s Chanterelle Mushroom Soup served at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA. Even in the nation’s warmer regions, cool winter temps beg for a bowl of soup. Chef Edgar Leal of Cacao in Coral Gables, FL, draws on his Venezuelan roots for his Chicken Chupe –a piquant soup served over queso blanco, a popular South American cheese that does not melt when heated.

Homemade stock is an important foundation for soup, though often overlooked. For that reason, we’ve included Lidia Bastianich’s versatile recipe for vegetable stock. There’s nothing particularly challenging about the cooking process – storage is the bigger issue. Lacking sufficient storage space in my own home kitchen for big batches of stock, I often resort to canned, low sodium chicken broth. But there should be no excuse for it in the professional kitchen.

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