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Ever since early man and woman figured out how to a) build a fire and b) Carve a bowl out of a stone, soup has literally warmed our bellies for thousands of years.


Ever since early man and woman figured out how to a) build a fire and b) Carve a bowl out of a stone, soup has literally warmed our bellies for thousands of years. Whether clear broths or chunky chowders, cultures from around the world have created their own version of what constitutes a liquid meal. From Texas to Taiwan, people find comfort in concoctions made with veggies, meat, spices, and a pinch of love that simmers for hours until it becomes a bowl of Pho, Mulligatawny, Borsht, or Cream of Broccoli.

So, grab a big soup spoon, and let's slurp up some local places where you can get that "Umm, Umm Good" feeling.

Rx - Comfort Food
Whether based on psychological or medicinal theories, a bowl of soup quickly reminds us of Grandma's love, cozy nights by a fire, or a homeopathic way to fight the flu. According to a study published in Psychology Today, "…eating hot soup or even just holding a warm cup of it may increase positive feelings." For example, chicken soup has become known as "Jewish penicillin." In addition to the psychological aspect of that golden broth making you feel better, scientific data supports the healing ingredients found in chicken fat. Most soups, veggie or meat-based, are jam-packed with nutrients ranging from vitamins A through K to niacin, riboflavin, and zinc.

Buddy Della Fave, owner of Downbeach Deli in Margate, NJ, has sold a matzoh ball or two in his career. According to Della Fave, "I estimate that we sell about 7,500 quarts of matzoh ball soup a year, not counting all the cups and bowls we sell in the restaurant." Soup more than any other food equates to memories. According to Chef Salvatore Giambrone, Queen Bean Bistro in Ventnor, NJ, soup is one of his favorite things to create. "Making soup reminds me of my childhood. If I was feeling sick, my mother would make soup, adding a little white pepper for flavor. For me, a bowl of soup is like being a kid again."

International Mixing Bowl
The world gets more global every day, and soup is no exception. Like other ethnic cuisine, soups offer flavorful ingredients that were once uncommon to the American palette - Chinese and Japanese options like Won Ton, Hot & Sour, and Miso. You can also find interesting soups in non-Asian restaurants as well. For example, the Good Dog Bar in Atlantic City offers a Miso Chicken & Tofu soup packed with oyster mushrooms, scallions, and a sesame oil drizzle. 7 Sisters in Pleasantville, NJ "bowls" you over with their authentic Vietnamese soups like Pho – a full and steamy bowl of delight packed with noodles, veggies, and any meat, tofu, or seafood you can think of. For example, the Đặc Biệt is filled to the brim with rare steak, flank, brisket, tendons, tripe, and beef meatballs. For vegetarians, the Bún Bò Huế Chay offers a flavorful no-meat broth with vermicelli and a slew of Hue-style spicy veggies. All soups are then topped off with trimmings like jalapenos, sprouts, cabbage, and Thai basil.
Chef Hien Tran puts hours of "love" into the broths she creates. "Our broth is authentic to the region in Vietnam where it comes from. I don't believe in one broth for all soups. Depending on the kind of soup, ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, and scallions simmer in their own pot for at least eight hours until it is just right - it's our signature at 7 Sisters." For south-of-the-border soup options, Isabella's in Ventnor, NJ offers Sopa Azteca – complete with crispy​ corn tortillas, sour cream, cheese, and avocado.​ Another Latino choice is Caldo Cammerones – a shrimp and veggie seafood soup at Sabor Salvadoreno in Atlantic City. Indian food lovers, do not feel abandoned. Nizam's in Egg Harbor Township serves up a rich, flavorful soup – Mulligatawny, delicately spiced with fresh vegetables and lentil puree.

Consistency Matters
Another characteristic of many soups is the chunk factor – pieces of chicken, beef, seafood, and veggies that scream for a fork instead of a spoon. For example, in Atlantic City, the Corn & Crab Chowder at Dock's is full of corn and crab pieces. Likewise, the Knife & Fork serves up hearty bowls of love in their Tuscan Three Bean Soup. Another Italian favorite, Pasta E Fagioli, from Girasole in Atlantic City is a meal in and of itself – packed with homemade traditional Neapolitan pasta and beans.

And, what list would be complete without the mention of French Onions Soup? Smithville Inn offers a bowl filled with onions, herbs, beef broth, and three smothered cheeses. It may not be the best menu choice for a first date, but wrapping the long and stringy cheeses around your spoon and into your mouth is delicious – don't forget to sop up the onions and broth with some crusty bread.

Place you can get some great soup.

The Original Soupman at Resorts, Atlantic City,

Essl's Dougout Restaurant, Pleasantville,

Bocca Coal Fired Bistro, Margate,

Illiano's, Hammonton,

Crab Trab's She Crab Soup, Somers Point,

Fred & Ethel's Lantern Light-Tomato Bisque or French Onion, Smithville,