There are plenty of ways to keep gastronomically warm on a blustery day.
You could clutch a mug filled with steaming coffee or tea. You could secretly sip whisky from flask when no one’s watching. You could even add hot sauce to your eggs, sandwiches and takeout, hoping that the heat from your tongue produces enough of a sweat that it’ll heat up the rest of you. However, if all else fails, hot soup is always a standard blanket in a bowl for when the weather is frigid. Here are some of the best soups to order in Portland.
Frank’s Noodle House
Now, it must be said that the namesake dish of Frank’s Noodle House is a force to be reckoned with: chewy, thick and perfect noodles are something you’ll come to crave shortly after your first visit. However, since we aren’t talking noodles today, I direct your attention to their wonton soup. The massive bowl (definitely big enough to share) is brought to your table with smells floating above it that can only be described as seductive. In the Cantonese language, wonton translates directly to the phrase “swallowing clouds,” and Frank’s wontons live up to their name in this soup. The soft and flavorful wrappers, with ground meat and green onions are heavenly and not too heavy. Along with the wontons are bok choi and cabbage, which maintain their bite while contributing a refreshing flavor that stands up well to the richness of the broth. The real secret to this soup’s mastery is the homemade chicken broth that is used as the base of the soup. Savory and almost mushroom-like, the broth alone could easily cure any ills when sipped by itself. In fact, you’ll likely find yourself ingesting it long after the wontons are gone. A bowl of this and a plate of any of their noodle dishes, and you may never be cold again.
822 NE Broadway
Monday–Thursday 11 a.m–9:30 p.m. and 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Portland Soup Company
Roasted Tomato Reggiano
This tomato soup is far from the can o’ Campbells you may have had as a kid. The base of this bisque-like concoction is slightly sweet and slightly tart, finding the perfect balance (just like a good tomato should). Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano adds just a touch of creaminess, and their olive oil-kissed croutons stay crisp even on a rainy walk back to campus. The soup is a perfect companion to any of their handmade sandwiches (like pork butt and red cabbage or homemade mozzarella with oven dried tomatoes) or seasonal salads.
SW Fourth Avenue and College Street.
Monday-Friday 11 a.m. -3p.m.
Savor Soup House
Carrot Ginger & Coconut
This Thursday-only vegan soup option may sound more like a smoothie flavor than lunch, but it is certainly one not to be overlooked. And if the slight sweetness of the carrots and satisfactory spiciness of ginger isn’t enough, the smoky fried onions take it above and beyond in the flavor department. Also an added bonus, the food cart serves each cup (or bowl) of soup with crusty Como bread from Grand Central Bakery for ultimate dipping.
1003 SW Alder St.
Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
While there are many food-coma inducing meals to be had at this downtown deli (including mouth watering pastrami), this mushroom soup can hold its own. The cream base is subtly flavored, letting the mushrooms in the soup really shine. Buttery and slightly smoky, this soup may not be a “sandwich as big as your head” as the Kenny and Zuke’s sign promises, but it is just as satisfying. Pair with a bialy and a pickle and you’ll feel like a Hungarian, New Yorker, and a Portlander all at once.
1038 SW Stark St.
Sunday–Thursday 7 a.m–9 p.m. Friday and
Saturday 7 a.m.–9 p.m.