Soup’s On! Local Soups Worthy of A Golden Spoon

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 12:17pm  |  COMMENTS (18)

Carrot ginger soup: Plum on Park in Montclair.

It’s true that “Soup is good food.” And it goes especially well with a side of snow showers, like we have today.

I’ve gone soup tasting all over the Montclair area recently, and discovered dozens of delicious bisques, broths, stews, and cock-a-leekies. (Ok, so I didn’t find the fabulous sounding chicken and leek Scottish soup—but I’m still hunting!)

Here are my “Golden Spoon” award winners, by category:

Carrot Ginger: TIE, Plum on Park and Comfort Food Kitchen

Plum’s is robustly flavored; CFK’s is fragrantly spiced. Hard to believe they’re both dairy-free.

Harvest stew with beef: Heavenly Temptations

A hearty stew, comprised of various root vegetables, mushrooms and chunks of tender beef.

Harvest stew with beef: Heavenly Temptations in Boonton.

This is also our “worth the trip” winner, as Heavenly Temptations is located about a half-hour drive northwest of Montclair in Boonton, NJ.

Leek, Celeriac Root and Fennel: Le Salbuen Café Market

Thick, creamy, and delicately spiced with pumpkin seed oil. Bonus points for the familial-yet-hip café vibe.

Lentil: Samba Montclair

Garlicky, with the perfect balance of seasoning, vegetables, and lentils.

Miso: Toro Sushi Bar

Not too salty. Pure lip-smacking umami goodness.

Mulligatawny: Stock Pot

Creamy, with just enough kick. The charming, 94-year-old cashier, Bess Kelly, attributes her longevity to “eating Stock Pot soup everyday.”

Vegetarian Black Bean: Panera Bread

Satisfying, yet low in calories and price.

Vegetarian Chili: Tinga Taqueria

Veggie chili so flavorful you don’t miss the meat.

Leek, celeriac root and fennel soup: Le Salbuen in Montclair.

Even after all the reporting, I’m still in search of my own holy grail: chicken noodle soup half as tasty as my mom’s.

I have warm childhood memories of watching her roll out the elastic dough–pale yellow from all the eggs she added–and slice it into long, uneven strips with a butter knife. My little sister and I would end up with traces of flour around our mouths from stealing nibbles of the soft yummy dough.

Please tell us in comments about your favorite, locally available soups. Extra credit for sharing where to buy excellent home made chicken noodle soup, meat chili, or cock-a-leekie!


  1. POSTED BY Gail  |  November 27, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention Terra. They have lovely, tasty soups.

  2. POSTED BY danahawkinssimons  |  November 27, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    do tell. what are your favorites at terra tea salon? (in montclair, beside the public library on fullerton.)

  3. POSTED BY Liz George  |  November 27, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

    Bonjou Montclair has great soups, love their split lentil.

  4. POSTED BY lisadavies  |  November 27, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    Thanks Dana for the lowdown on soup. I love the lentil soup at Uncle Moustache – a silky smooth texture with a bit of a hot kick to it, the addition of lemon makes it sooooooo good.

    Don’t buy stock – make it – so easy and it freezes. Every time I have a chicken carcass I make stock with it – boil it up with some onions, parsley, carrots and simmer for about an hour – skimming off the fat. So much healthier than bought stock.

  5. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  November 27, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    This only makes me miss DAILY SOUP even more {sad face}.

    I still dream of their tomato cheddar and Senegalese Peanut soup.

    I have their cookbook, but it’s not the same.

    I’ll stick to my lentil soup.

  6. POSTED BY hawk298  |  November 27, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    The Greek Lemon chicken soup at Montclair Charbroil is delicious.
    I always order it when I go there. They use orzo as the starch in the soup.

  7. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  November 27, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    Ooh hawk298! I’ll have to go try that Greek Avgloemomo soup! My dad make it a lot when I was little and it’s a favorite.

  8. POSTED BY danahawkinssimons  |  November 27, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    thanks, lisa. with all your tasty recipes–you’re the soup queen! (I definitely plan to make your squash, and pea soups soon.) so many good soups to try, so little time…

  9. POSTED BY oliver  |  November 27, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

    I love all the soups at Raymond’s, and the Greek lemon and chicken soup at Greek Delights.

    I made stock with the Thanksgiving turkey carcass! Used some of it in acorn squash soup, and froze the rest.

  10. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  November 27, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    soup in the city is getting absurdly over priced.

  11. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  November 27, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    @ herb, Soup is the new Cupcake, which supplanted coffee, and before it, water.

  12. POSTED BY theprimroseplath  |  November 27, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    Bluestone has an assortment of wonderful soups, as does Raymond’s. Raymond’s had this cream of summer squash soup that I still dream about.

  13. POSTED BY danahawkinssimons  |  November 27, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

    can’t wait to try all the soups mentioned here in comments! but what about my quest for an awesome chicken noodle? it’s the only proven remedy for a cold, so any suggestions would be much appreciated. (or i could just get the darned recipe from my mom!)

  14. POSTED BY frobnitz  |  November 27, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

    Dana – chicken soup IS the only proven remedy for a cold. Even a medical doctor would agree.

  15. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  November 27, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    As my Uncle Tim used to say, “If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks.”

  16. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  November 28, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    ..and, cro, as the late Golda Meir used to say, “If it was raining soup, stay inside already, your pants will get stained.”

  17. POSTED BY winechick  |  November 30, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    The Pie shop makes awesome soups. Love their cheddar and ale.

  18. POSTED BY fran liscio  |  December 02, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    I love the rich creaminess of King’s Thanksgiving Everyday soup, which is a hot, savory, creamy mash up of wild rice, heavy cream, turkey, i think there’s a cranberry or two in there, etc. But in cold weather it’s very satisfying.

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