I don’t know about you, but last year’s warm winter spoiled me and I’m having trouble adjusting to these 2013 wind chills. Do you know want to know what my secret for staying warm is? Filling up from the belly up with these soups, chowders and chilis.
My Dad’s Sweet Corn Chowder at Circle City Soups - I first experienced Circle City Soups at 2011′s Dig Indiana, where they passed out samples of My Dad’s Sweet Corn Chowder in 90 degree weather. Despite the heat, I went back for seconds because the soup was that good. It’s creamy, a little sweet, and full of flavor from Indiana sweet corn. It didn’t hurt that they topped it with a bit of bacon, either.
Turkey Chili at Cafe Patachou - Big chunks of moist ground turkey, kidney beans and tomatoes make up this gluten-free chili, although it tastes like so much more than that. Some chilis are more soupy, but this one gives you just enough garlic tomato sauce to make you lick the bowl. (I’m not joking, I did.) It’s a mild chili so if you’re looking for heat you’ll want to add a few splashes of Tobasco sauce they keep on hand. Top it with sour cream and cheese if you like.
Creamy Potato Soup at Taste Cafe and Marketplace – Texture can make or break any soup, no matter how good the flavor is. Cream can weigh a soup down, but Taste somehow purees the soup so it’s light and almost fluffy with a smooth texture. Like Circle City Soups, there’s a hint of sweetness but it doesn’t make the soup taste like dessert. My only complaint? I need a larger bowl.
Lentil Soup at In A Pita Truck - Leave it to In A Pita to throw me for a loop with their lentil soup. When I think of lentil soup, I see dark brown lentils with carrots, onions, and chicken stock. Open up the styrofoam cup and you’ll see bright yellow instead of drab brown, which visually shocks you just as much as the taste. A simple combination of lentils, rice, onions, spices and a few mystery ingredients I can’t figure out gave the soup a tang I won’t forget. It’s worth standing in line in the cold for!
Creamy Portabella Mushroom Brandy Soup at Northside Kitchenette - Slightly sweet, probably from the brandy, but thin and light making it a perfectly slurpable soup. The mushrooms varied in size but kept their crunch and flavor and weren’t soggy like they had been sitting in soup for hours. I love how it is paired with a cheese crostini for dipping. Dipping is important! While I love the flavor, I doubt you could make a meal out of this soup so order any number of amazing sandwiches that Northside Kitchenette offers.
Can’t get enough of the soups that Indianapolis has to offer? Purchase a ticket to Souper Bowls 2013 where you can taste amazing creations from Iozzo’s, Recess, Saffron Cafe and many others! The event is Saturday, January 26 and benefits Second Helpings.