January in Minnesota is the coldest month of the year. While we have turned the corner and moved into February, we still have plenty of cold weather ahead before we start to warm up. Nothing hits the spot better for lunch in Minnesota than a bowl of steaming hot soup. I am crazy about soup and really think it should be its own food group. You get your veggies, protein, and quench your thirst all in one delicious bite.
Here are some of the best soups in the Twin Cities.
This St Paul soup is my go-to on most occasions. Nothing blasts a Winter cold like a bowl of Pho. Pho is pronounced “fuh,” Pho actually refers to the rice noodles, not the soup itself. This Rice noodle soup base is beef broth served with basil leaves, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and topped with cilantro, white and green onion. I like to get mine with beef round, wontons or meatballs, and when I eat it, I add Sriracha bite by bite on my spoon. There are three sizes of bowls here. The large bowl easily feeds a family of 4. This pho is worth driving across town for.
The kimchi ramen is incredible. The broth is smooth and silky, with a pleasant amount of heat. The noodles are excellent for slurping. Not too soft and not too firm. The kimchi and soft-boiled eggs are jammy with bits of pork as a yummy addition. A family-run spot that I encourage everyone to check out.
Seafood restaurants have the best bisques due in no small number of shells on hand for making good stocks. Add a bit of cream and some hunks of lobster to the bowl, and you have a delicious soup. Try stirring in a few dashed of tobacco sauce to give it some heat while cutting the richness of the soup.
Saint Paul Grill has given Lunds and Byerlys a run for their money in the Wild Rice soup department. Creamy and delicious with bacon and a generous portion of sherry brings this State’s favorite soup home.
Feller in the Lora hotel specializes in a wild game of the north, and they have got it right with their Smoked Pheasant Wild Rice soup, which is smokier and than the chicken wild rice soup. It’s brighter and a bit less creamy, but by holding back on the cream, the pheasant really shines.
Buttery, caramelized onions stacked in big, beefy broth and baked in a crock covered with Gruyere cheese, is how I want my French onion soup. Salut gets it right served with a crusty baguette and unsalted butter – it is the perfect Winter Meal.
This “chowdah” is hearty with lots of clams and potatoes. This chowder is thinner, which I really prefer. I think you can taste the brininess of the clams. This one’s a winner.
This Tomato soup is a standout served alone or alongside a grilled cheese sandwich for a perfectly comforting Minnesota lunch.
Hominy corn and pork topped with lettuce, oregano, radishes, avocado, and a squeeze of lime make this soup authentic, rich, and hearty. Ask for a side of tortillas to use to scoop up the rich broth and fillings.
Whether its Lentil, Creamy Mushroom, or Gumbo Surdyks has one of the best rotating soup lists in the Twin Cities. View the daily list online or pick up their soup calendar in their cheese shop that details that month’s selections.