This Blog Post was originally written this past summer. Now that it’s minus a million degrees in Toronto, this updated list may prove more useful…
On a hot summer day, a piping bowl of Soup may be the last thing on your mind. Not this guy! Luckily for me, there are lots of places to get great soup in this city (no matter the weather). In fact, there are probably too many places to mention… so to narrow it down a bit, here’s a list of places (in no particular order) known for ladling out the good stuff. Keep this list in your back-pocket the next time you have a hankering for a cup/bowl… or the next time you need to get warmed up (whichever comes first).
Harmonious: the BBQ Beef Soup w/ Rice & Egg Noodles ($7.95) at Mi Mi Restaurant (688 Gerrard St E) is a Large bowl of Beef Broth that gets filled to the brim with various Noodles and Veggies. A skillet of sizzling BBQ Beef is served on the side, beckoning to be integrated into the soup.
Exotic: the Cambodiana Soup ($9.99) at Khmer Thai (1018 St Clair Ave W) is a meal in itself. A house specialty, it is an extra-spicy puree of Chicken, Green Curry, Eggplant, Mushroom, Coconut Milk and Basil. Served with rice, it’s a great starter for the table… or more than enough for dinner if you’re looking for soup-for-one. Love heat? Check this out.
Nostalgic: Since I was a kid, United Bakers (506 Lawrence Ave W) creation of soups vary by the day; however, one is on offer everyday, and it’s quite obvious why. The Green Split Pea Soup ($3.99 a bowl) is a house favourite and is available to take-out by the litre. Rich and creamy, hints of dill and red pepper compliment the soft noodles at the bottom of the bowl. We took some home after our meal, as did most of the patrons we were sitting beside.
Classic: I will order the Mulligatawny Soup ($3.99) from Banjara (796 Bloor W) every time I dine in. This aromatic Lentil puree is full of shredded Veggies and pieces of Tandoori Chicken.
Authentic: the Da-Lu Noodle Soup ($7.75). at Mother’s Dumplings (421 Spadina Ave) offers-up hand-pulled noodles in Beef Broth, accompanied by a medley of Mushrooms, Kelp and Poached Eggs.
“Say it…” The Clam Chowder ($4.95) at Buster’s Sea Cove (St. Lawrence Market) is so good that I find myself halfway through before I remember to snap the picture above. Their Lobster Bisque is also off-the-chain
Splurge: the Chu-Shu Kara-Miso Ramen ($13.30) at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (91 Dundas St E) sees Veggies and simmered Pork Cheek served in a Chili/Miso broth that is, perhaps, the most flavorful things known to man. Side dishes abound (albeit at an additional cost). It’s worth the splurge once in a while.
Legendary: Gumjatang ($6.95) a.k.a. Pork Bone Soup, is available at many different places, but few do it as well as Tofu Village – House of Soon Tofu (681 Bloor St W). Along with the plethora of side dishes, this may be the best deal in the city.
Manifique: The Papillion on Front (69 Front St E) serves the best French Onion Soup in the city. Topped with a Croustini and smothered in melted Gruyere cheese, it’s worth every penny ($9 small / $11 large). FYI… Papillion on Front is not affiliated with the restaurant in the Beaches. Same name, different owners.
Professional: the Porcini Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque ($8.99) at Ravi Soups (322 Adelaide W) has a wonderfully earthy taste that works nicely with the Truffle Oil garnish. This is a sneakily big, satisfying serving that leaves me full every time.
Balanced: hanoi 3 seasons (1135 Queen St E co/lo 588 Gerrard St E) has a number of great soups (Grouper Noodle Soup ($11) comes to mind); however, this list couldn’t be complete without Pho… and their Pho-Chay ($8.50) is a Veggie, Tofu and Sweet-Potato soup (Veggie Broth) that is chock-full of mock Shrimp. Faux Pho!