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It’s definitely soup season right now.
Soup is the quintessential comfort food, inspiring nostalgia, providing relief from the elements, and even comforting us in difficult times. Soups can also serve as a centerpiece of family or cultural traditions, taking diners back to their roots and providing an opportunity to share with others.
Take a journey with us to find mouth-watering and inspiring soups in the Kansas City area.
Around the world in 80 bowls
Chingu in Westport, it serves kimchi jjigae, a staple of Korean households. The homestyle dish features a hefty amount of gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) and cabbage kimchi. Other ingredients vary according to the preferences of the cook. The hearty Chingu stew is balanced by tofu and a choice of pork belly or mushrooms.
TO Wah Gwan (meaning “What’s up?”), founding chef Tanyech “Tan” Yarbrough offers traditional Nigerian dishes such as bitter leaf soup, okra soup and egusi (ground melon seeds) soup with a side of fufu, a vegetable made from prepared starch such as cassava used for dipping. He orders Nigerian jollof rice or Jamaican rice and peas to round out the meal.
Based in Brookside Sayachi is owned and operated by Sayaka Falcon, originally from Okinawa, Japan, and her husband and chef Carlos Falcon. Sayachi not only specializes in Japanese cuisine and Omakase-style sushi, but also in less flashy dishes such as miso soup and ramen. The latter features egg noodles, Tokyo-style soy broth, vegetables, and pork belly.
Vietnam coffee in Columbus Park has six types of pho, including Pho Bo topped with a thinly sliced round beef eye and rice noodles. Their soups are served with fresh bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and limes. North of the river, Mee Phan Sandwich it serves pho with options of steak, chicken, and shrimp, as well as pho dau hu (tofu) and pho xa xiu (Chinese grilled pork). Not to be missed My Vietnamese coffee Xuyen for another Northland pho destination.
Renowned Thai soups such as tom yum and coconut milk-based tom kha are relaxing staples at Overland Park’s Pad Thai, Lemongrass Thai cuisine AND Hot basil. North of Kansas City, Asian spice restaurant features Thai Style Roasted Duck Noodle Soup and Lasak Curry Seafood Noodle Soup.
Enzo Bistrot and Wine Bar in the River Market it serves avgolemono made with roasted chicken, pearl couscous, lemon and yoghurt. The ancient roots of this creamy soup go back to Sephardic Jewish, Greek and other cuisines throughout southern Europe.
Twist on comforting classics
He might be cooking at a brewery, but chef Vince Brink at Brewing Public House + Kitchen torn label in the Crossroads includes butternut squash and miso soup on its menu. The umami of the miso complements the sweetness of the pumpkin brilliantly.
Chef Cherven Desauguste, co-owner of Mesob in Midtown, he tops his smoked pumpkin soup with ayeb, a traditional Ethiopian cheese, as well as pumpkin seeds.
“Our homemade ayeb is lighter than feta cheese or goat cheese,” says Desauguste. “It’s subtle without adding extra flavor to the soup.”
TO Acre in Parkville, chef-owner Andre Longres counteracts the cool winter temperatures by embellishing his smoked potato chowder with puffed hominy, bacon lardons, whipped crème fraiche, chives and white cheddar.
“Everything has a season, and at Acre, our soups change to reflect the most abundant seasonal produce,” Longres said. “Our potato soup is the perfect comfort food in the winter because it’s warm, rich and smooth, with a touch of fireside smokiness.”
Bradley Gilmore, chef and owner of Lula Southern Cookhouse in Crossroads, he goes all out for allium for his Vidalia onion soup. Gilmore’s bisque uses caramelized Vidalia onion, bourbon cream, crispy shallots, melted leek, garlic chive oil, and smoked paprika. (By the way, did you know that Vidalia onions must be grown in one of South Georgia’s 20 counties, by federal order?)
Land and sea
Sometimes a specific ingredient or flavor pairing unlocks memories or suggests comfort. Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen a History features a bisque of roasted mushrooms, sage, and herbed bread crumbs that evokes thoughts of festive traditions and rustic flavors fit for winter sustenance.
Rye chef Ryan Williams has developed a rustic smoked sausage and clam chowder with a tomato base and fregola sarda, a nutty-flavored Sardinian semolina pasta that is both comforting and a little intrepid, a departure from the styles of New England and Manhattan soup.
Ham and bean soup with a side of cornbread muffins Niecie’s Restaurant it draws on a tried-and-true combination of sweet, savory, and savory flavors.
Roasted carrot soup a The camping in the Stockyards is “inspired by my love of mole with a balance of sweet, bitter, salty and spicy,” says chef Jeff Workman. “Carrots are also an ingredient that can shine in many ways. Here we have roasted, grilled and lightly salted puree.”
Legend has it that soupe à l’oignon gratinée was invented in 18th century France. Here and now, Le Fou Rana in River Market prepares the classic French onion soup with a rich broth of meat and onions, topping each serving with a toasted crouton and melted cheese. They also serve creamy lobster bisque.
Chef Carlos Falcon’s Jarocho is known for seafood dishes inspired by Veracruz, Mexico. Caldo de mariscos, or chowder, at its Kansas City, Kansas location, comes with an option of shrimp, fish, or a medley of frutas del mar, seafood. Diners at Jarocho’s South Kansas City location can opt for the lobster bisque, too.
For meat lovers, Chappell restaurant + Sports museum in North Kansas City he makes steak chowder. This menu staple is packed with tender beef chunks, greens, spices, and a splash of Burgundy wine.