1) EL MESON’S CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
This traditional soup is packed with chicken, rice, hominy, avocado, cheese and spices served with tortilla strips and a small pitcher of broth on the side. It’s filling, flavorful, warm, delicious and priced right at $10 for a large bowl ($7 for a small bowl). This is a robust soup that’s packed with flavor, a great value for the money and one of the more interesting presentations you can enjoy when it comes to soup.
903 E Dixie Drive, Dayton
The sliced chicken pho (left) and Sate Shrimp and Pork Pho from Linh's Bistro. Photo source: Vivienne Machi / Staff
2) PHO AT LINH’S BISTRO
Pho (pronounced fuh) is a delicious Vietnamese rice noodle soup. At Linh’s, it’s served with a side plate of fresh cilantro, bean sprouts and jalapeno to dress it up as you please. Add chili paste for a kick, fish sauce for extra saltiness or garlic vinegar for sourness. Linh’s soups will deliver lunch and dinner in the same day thanks to the generous portions. My personal favorites are the Pho Ga (sliced chicken soup, $8.95), Hu Tieu Bo Vien Sate (spicy sliced beef and meatball soup, $9.95), Hu Tieu Ga Sate (spicy chicken soup, $8.95) and Hu Tieu Tom Heo Sate (spicy shrimp and pork soup, $9.95).
5532 Airway Road, Dayton
3) THAI 9’S CHICKEN OR TOFU COCONUT MILK SOUP
My husband swears by the bean thread soup ($5.50) at Thai 9, packed with bean thread noodles and veggies in a chicken broth base, but my money is always on the Tom Kha (coconut milk soup). The coconut milk creates a smooth, savory base that you will not be able to drink up fast enough. The chicken (or tofu), cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, lemon grass, cilantro, green onion, galanga and lime juice are simmered together resulting in an intoxicating, tender creation. This is an enormously satisfying soup and definitely one to try if you haven’t had it yet.
11 Brown St., Dayton
4) THE OAKWOOD CLUB’S BAKED FRENCH ONION SOUP AU GRATIN
A good French onion soup is rich, simple, cheesy and delicious. The Oakwood Club’s version includes a pile of carmelized onions softened in beef broth with a stiff bread disc separating the soup from the shelf of melted cheese. It is a recipe for happiness that will never lose its luster ($5.25 for a cup, $6.50 for a bowl) and get ready to bask in the flavor of a classic soup that the Oakwood Club has been serving up for more than 50 years.
2414 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood
Up close and personal with Blind Bob’s pickle soup ($4 for a bowl or $2.50 for cup). (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)
5) BLIND BOB’S PICKLE SOUP
Pickle soup? Don’t sneer. This Blind Bob’s staple is delicious, creamy, tart and addictive. This is basically a potato soup with the zingy addition of pickles. It’s hearty, warm and enormously satisfying. Pair it with one of the stuffed burgers and you’re in business. Have it on its own and you’re at just $4 for a bowl and $2.50 for a cup.
430 E. Fifth St., Dayton
6) JAY’S SEAFOOD CLAM CHOWDER
When I think of a lavish, decadent, sumptuous holiday soup, Jay’s New England Clam Chowder ($7) has it in spades. Fresh clams, potatoes, onions, celery, seasoning are served up in a heavy cream base that’s just plain delicious.
225 E. Sixth St., Dayton
7) FIGLIO’S CRAB AND CORN CHOWDER
This soup ($6), packed with crab, shrimp, corn and Yukon Gold potatoes, is heavenly and decadent. Pair it with the restaurant’s signature Peasant Salad ($7.25) made with bacon, egg, red onion, cheddar, peas, peppers and Peasant Dressing and you have a nice dinner that’s under $15. That or split my current obsession — the Truffled Mushroom pizza ($14) — with someone. Topped with portabellas, proscuitto, fontina and gorgonzola cheese and dressed with truffle oil, this is a pizza that I keep coming back to.
Town & Country Shopping Center, 424 E. Stroop Road, Dayton
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