Soup

Few categories of food have as many different regional identities as soup. Of course, everybody everywhere knows tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, French onion soup, and vegetable soup. But consider the one small subset of soup known as chowder. There is New England chowder, which is milk- or cream-based and enriched with salt pork, potatoes and clams (although sometimes other seafood as well). There is Rhode Island chowder, which is a creamy bisque with just enough tomatoes to turn it blushing pink. A few miles to the west is Southern New England chowder, made without milk or cream and no vegetables other than potatoes and onions, just a swirl of minced clams and their nectar. Manhattan clam chowder, which Yankees disavow, is as vegetable-thick as minestrone. Then there is Oregon chowder, which features clams and nuggets of potato and ranges from rib-sticking to elegant. It usually is flavored with smoked bacon or salt pork and served with a pat of butter melting on top.

New England makes a point of differentiating between seafood chowder and seafood stew, the latter a soup of warm milk or cream seasoned with salt and pepper, pooled with melted butter, and containing large morsels of lobster or fish but no potatoes or vegetables whatsoever. (Chowder always contains potatoes.)

Although most people think of chowder as a seafood dish, inland New England also is known for farmhouse chowder, which is seafood-free and thick enough with corn and potatoes to verge on forkworthy stew. Even downstate Illinois has a chowder all its own – a hunter-farmer’s dish made with beef and/or chicken (and, historically, squirrel) along with beans, cabbage, and tomatoes. It’s so much a local emblem that Edwards County, Illinois, has declared itself to be the Chowder Capital of the World.

Here are a few of the country’s distinctly regional soups: Lowcountry she-crab soup, Virginia peanut soup, Minorcan chowder in St. Augustine, gumbo in New Orleans and Cajun country, conch chowder in the Florida Keys, cream of artichoke soup in California, Kentucky burgoo, pot likker in the Deep South (that’s liquid retrieved when greens are boiled, usually with pork) and Oklahoma steak soup that contains testicles as well as steak.

And, of course, there is a whole world of American-restaurant ethnic soups, a few of the most familiar being Jewish matzoh ball, Chinese wonton and hot & sour soups, Thai tom yum and tom ka, Vietnamese pho, Italian wedding soup (so named because it weds greens and meat), Mexican posole and menudo, and Japanese ramen.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 24 Dishes

Little meatballs float with herbs in bowl of savory soup

Albondigas Soup

  • Soup
  • 3 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Orange soup packed with beans on a diner counter

Bean Soup

  • Soup
  • 16 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Beet-red soup sprinkled with herbs

Borscht

  • Soup
  • 3 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Chicken & vegetables pack a bowl of Brunswick stew

Brunswick Stew

  • Soup
  • 26 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Golden broth packed with little noodles and strips of chicken meat

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Soup
  • 10 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Great strips of chicken and homemade noodles make this a bowl of supreme comfort.

Chicken Soup

  • Soup
  • 25 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Buttery, creamy chowder is packed with shrimp, clams, and fish

Chowder

  • Soup
  • 34 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Cup of herb-speckled consomme on a screened porch

Consumme

  • Soup
  • 3 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Heaps of large lump crabmeat full a bowl of Maryland crab soup.

Crab Soup

  • Soup
  • 8 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Molten cheese drips down the side of a crock of French onion soup.

French Onion Soup

  • Soup
  • 15 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Tomato-red gazpacho soup adds blueberry for fruity sweetness.

Gazpacho

  • Soup
  • 2 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Shrimp, crawfish, okra, rice, and spice crown a bowl of Cajun gumbo.

Gumbo

  • Soup
  • 28 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
A bowl of hot & sour soup glows red with pepper flavor.

Hot & Sour Soup

  • Soup
  • 2 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
A giant quartered knish is filled with kasha (cereal)

Knish

  • Soup
  • 2 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
One huge matzoh ball floats in a bowl of chickeny broth.

Matzoh Ball Soup

  • Soup
  • 6 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Peppery menudo comes with fresh limes for squeezing.

Menudo

  • Soup
  • 11 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Multi-vegetable minestrone soup topped with shredded asiago cheese

Minestrone Soup

  • Soup
  • 3 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Mushrooms and barley fill a creamy soup bowl

Mushroom Soup

  • Soup
  • 6 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes
Bowl of pot likker is accompanied by a corn muffin.

Pot Likker

  • Soup
  • 1 Restaurant
  • 0 Recipes
Chewy noodles, pork, broth & veggies crowd together in a bowl of saimin

Saimin

  • Soup
  • 2 Restaurants
  • 0 Recipes

Best Soup Restaurants

Al’s Corner Restaurant

Barberton, OH

Mike’s Famous Ham Place

Detroit, MI

Ray’s Place

Eau Claire, WI

Thai Jasmine Rice

Aiken, SC

Safari Xpress

Minneapolis, MN

El Camaron Feliz

Graniteville, SC

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