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Soup Season Cometh: 5 Places to Get Good Soup this Autumn

Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Instagram and George Voronov

Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Instagram and George Voronov

Do you feel that breeze in the air? That chill as a leaf falls from a tree? Have you seen a rogue conker on the leafy banks of Dublin? Yes, “soup season” has descended upon us just in the nick of time.

Some are soup all year round people, and more power to them. But for most of us, soup has a time and place in our calendar. That time is now.

Based on archaeological evidence, it turns out that the very first bowl of soup was cooked in 20,000 BC. So who are we to argue with the ancestors of yore? Time to get some soup into you.

What Even is Soup?

Ah, we all know what soup is. Yet soup is almost undefinable —it can be thick, thin, chunky, smooth, hot or cold. It can cook on the hob, in the slow cooker or a specially dedicated soup maker. It can be made just before dinner or days before (and it freezes beautifully, too).

 What I love so much about soup is that soup isn’t anything specific. Instead, it’s a blank canvas that you can cat no matter what flavours you’re in the mood for.

That said, most soups fall under two categories: thick or clear. Clear soups are usually made with a base of broth, ideally bone broth. Classic soups like chicken noodle, minestrone, and even Ramen and Coddle fall into this category. Cook it all long enough, and it becomes a stew, though.

Alternatively, thick soups are made using different thickening agents like cream, starch, eggs, and butter. These are your more traditional Irish Potato & Leek, cream of tomato and so on. No matter which category you fall into, soups are just waiting for you.

In no particular order, here are five of CHAR’s favourite bowls this soupy season.

05

Nomo – Ramen

I went out of my way to grab this one as soon as it got cold. It is going to be a godsend this chilly season. I can tell. It takes seven hours to make it this tasty and a whole day to make the eggs, and you can tell. The time put into this bowl gives life to its consumers. Full of all the nutrients you need to ward off cold and flu, a broth that warms the cockles of your heart and tastes so scrumptious you’ll wish you could buy it as a stock.

04

Soup Dragon – Classic Irish

If you want a good soup but don’t know what kind yet, then Soup Dragon is the place to hit. They have twelve different types of soup available, from roasted red pepper to tomato & goat’s cheese to Thai green chicken curry and beyond. There’s usually a potato base that catches my attention most of the time. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to get a bad one in Soup Dragon, and they’re only a fiver. \

03

Pho Kim – Pho

This little spot opposite Fibbers and beside KimChi has hands down the best Pho in the city. Owned by one of the few families Ireland took in during the Vietnamese war, this place is as authentic as you can. In the hierarchy of delicious, slurpy stuff in a bowl, Pho is close to the tippy top. Anthony Bourdain’s portrayal of Vietnamese food as equal, in sophistication and complexity, to more conventional European food that brought most western white people around to trying Pho, and believe me, the man got it right. So this soup season, don’t forget that even new foods can bring the comfort of your ma’s best soup.

02

The Bakehouse – Modern Irish

This little bake shop changes its soup offerings daily. Like most cafés, I suppose. But unlike most cafés, they make the soup a priority. The cauliflower cheese is a particular favourite of mine, and I would recommend anyone to go out of their way to try it this soup season. The broccoli one comes in a hair behind it but is still dream-about-it level.

01

The Grave Diggers – Coddle

Coddle straddles the line between soup and stew. It’s kind of neither and definitely both. I am a firm nude sausage stan, so I think you should get into the OG coddle spot Grave Diggers and dig into one. You won’t know how dang good it is till you get in there. But, having a pint of plain with it is mandatory. And I’d chase it with a hot whiskey. The perfect autumnal trifecta. This is what soup season was hashtag invented for.

Elsewhere on CHAR: Why I Hate The Word Foodie

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