5 of the best seasonal soups in Phoenix
There is nothing more comforting on a crisp winter’s day as a warm bowl of soup. As the steam wisps from the bowl, the fragrance of the seasonal ingredients wrap around you like your favorite plush sweater or a hug from your favorite person. While we may not have the snow drifts to maneuver or windshields to de-ice, we certainly have our own version of winter with crisp temperatures hovering in the 50’s. Not cold enough for a parka, but definitely brisk enough for a warm bowl of soup. We’ve sourced some of the best soups in your neighborhood for when the chill strikes.
5 of the best seasonal soups in Phoenix
2320 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix
There is no question that the space that houses Bink’s Midtown is rich with history. One could believe that the love, laughter, and care that was shared through the years in the home prior to being transformed into the now popular dining spot lingers and adds to the overall experience. Chef Kevin Binkley brings his own spirit, of course, and creates dishes with the quality and seasonality of each ingredient in mind. These carefully crafted dishes manifest into a heart and soul warming experience.
Best Bowl: Corn Chowder
The Calabrian spin on this all-American staple, help to evolve the dish to a healthy and clean version while still maintain the richness and texture you expect. The combination of corn, potato, bacon, scallions creates that great texture and the addition of the chile oil add and unexpected kick and warmth.
1935 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
If you ever find yourself in a hurry and craving a comforting bowl of soup, make sure to pop into Café Zupas. You’ll find an easy going cafeteria-style environment with an easy ordering system and quick and friendly service. What may surprise you about this quick-service spot is that they receive daily deliveries of the freshest ingredients and make all of their soups from scratch each and every morning. With 10 kinds of soup to choose from you might find yourself a little overwhelmed, but no need to fret; they offer free samples so that you can be sure that the bowl you end up with is exactly to your liking.
Best Bowl: Wisconsin Cauliflower
Each batch of this gratifying soup is comprised of 12 whole heads of cauliflower that is chopped, steamed and then pureed. They then add to the mix vegetable broth, cream and their signature blend of spices along with Wisconsin cheddar and pepper jack cheese. The end result is a rich and silky soup that is full of flavor and will keep you coming back for more.
Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup
3313 N. 7th St., Phoenix
With their reputation and loyal followers, you’ve surely heard all about how fantastic Gadzook’s enchiladas are, and they definitely are fantastic but have you tried out their soups? You may have visited in the warmer months when soup just doesn’t make a lot of sense, but now is the perfect time to get your fill. The same care they take in constructing the larger than life enchiladas goes into each batch of their soups. Whether you opt to pair yours with an enchilada or salad or have it stand alone, be prepared to be full and happy by the time you leave.
Best Bowl: Spicy Potato and Corn Chowder
There is a lot going on in this soup, but somehow the array of flavors stand on their own and play well with the others without being muddled. If you like things hot the combination of poblano, jalapeno, serrano and bell peppers will make your mouth sing! Add to that some garlic, diced onion, celery, potato (chopped and mashed), cilantro and corn and you have a symphony of perfectly paired comfort and heat to make everything about your day a little spicier.
111 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
This pint-size restaurant never fails to impress guests, with its inviting décor, energy, and menu. The architecture and landscape design draw you in all on their own and then the aroma of the kitchen seals the deal. If you’re looking for a more laid-back dining experience the wrap around patio is perfect for lingering over your meal and chatting with friends while the interior dining room has a much more vibrant energy. The menu features a variety of dishes, with several vegan, vegetarian and gluten and dairy free options. One aspect of St. Francis that sets itself apart from other restaurants is that they are kid friendly and their smallest guests always eat free.
Best Bowl: Pumpkin Soup
This time of year it is virtually impossible to escape pumpkin-themed anything. Before you decide that you are all pumpkined-out, you’ll want to try this soup. This particular blend combines that rich flavor of pumpkin with a sweet maple syrup and then balances that with a sparkling vinegar. The dish is rounded out with some Tabasco and crème fraiche along with croutons and pomegranate seeds for an interesting texture and an additional pop of flavor. This soup is anything but basic!
The Market by Jennifer’s Restaurant + Bar
3603 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
The Market by Jennifer’s is a spot that you likely have passed by when visiting the Gaslight Square without even knowing. It’s tucked in the back corner of the Square and is definitely worth seeking out. The eclectic space alone is a perfect fit for the neighborhood and features local art on rotation as well as live entertainment frequently. And then there’s the food. Created by a longtime caterer, the menu reflects the refinement of dishes that you would find as some of the most exclusive parties as well as the creativity of a truly talented chef. The menu features standards that you can expect on any given day, but pay special attention to the specials and get them while available.
Best Bowl: Butternut Squash Bisque
The culinary team at The Market have taken what some might see as a standard fall soup and raised the bar to new heights. This soup is everything that represents the season, from the perfectly roasted and pureed butternut squash to the addition of crème fraiche and fresh thyme. What makes it an instant standout is the addition of their brown buttered popcorn and just a touch of white cheddar cheese. The subtle flavor of the popcorn, when added to the bisque, deepens the flavor and also adds a nice contrast of texture, making for an unforgettable dish.
*This article, written by Taryn Jeffries, was originally featured in the December 2015 issue of Uptown Magazine.*