Go ahead and tell your stomach we’re getting a November heat wave – it won’t listen. Biological clocks know it’s soup season, so grab a spoon and check out these spots to sate your craving.
Since-deceased owner, chef, and namesake Ravi Kanagarajah opened the first RaviSoup following 13 years as the saucier and “soup-maker” at the now-closed upscale brunch spot Mildred Pierce, and six years later, the business is survived by five locations spread across downtown. Popular amongst students and the bar crowd, Kanagarajah’s business built itself into a Toronto institution on its affordable offerings and generous portions, but you certainly don’t have to be on a budget to be comforted by a warm bowl of this soup. Simultaneously inspired by Kanagarajah’s time at Mildred Pierce and flavours from the Far East, it’s a rich comfort option for all.
322 ADELAIDE STREET WEST, 9 CHARLES STREET WEST, 1128 QUEEN STREET WEST, 1533 QUEEN STREET WEST, 2535 DUNDAS STREET WEST
Call it fan service, brand boosting, or what you will, but this Seinfeld-inspired soup chain has the blessing of the Soup Nazi himself, proudly displayed on framed autographs for customers to see at its locations throughout the PATH. While Nutsy swaps out the draconian wrath of the New York City overlord it gets its name from for service with a smile, it still champions a militaristic attention to greatness. Rotating through a repertoire of over 200 recipes, menus update daily while still offering customers choice between at least 15 soups straddling meat, poultry, seafood, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, and every bowl is served with freshly baked bread and fresh fruit or vegetables.
120 ADELAIDE STREET WEST, 222 BAY STREET, 200 WELLINGTON STREET WEST
ONE LOVE VEGETARIAN CAFÉ
This Caribbean eatery has grown since its beginnings as a soup booth at the World Café food court in Harbourfront Centre, and so has its menu. But One Love’s brick-and-mortar location still offers the spicy corn soup that got it off the ground, and it’s a powerful antidote for the most stubborn of colds.
854 BATHURST STREET
While it’s the smoked meat sandwiches that usually attract the focus at Caplansky’s, the Jewish delicatessen also offers a modest trio of traditional soups that aren’t often overlooked either, and with good reason: its old-fashioned chicken soup is full of healing power with its twin matzoh balls, and its beet-free sweet-and-sour cabbage borscht is a sensory celebration that gets a briny injection from the buried morsels of smoked meat; in the split pea soup the same smoked meat (no ham hock here) is responsible for a comparably smokier flavour. This is a place that warms souls with time-trusted wisdom. You’re in good hands.
356 COLLEGE STREET
SOUP DU JOUR
This Bolton-based chain from Chef Fabrizio Natale and Roberta Natale – a husband and wife team that also operate a small catering company there – gained an Etobicoke location this past March. Stationed at Islington and Bloor, they bring the same gourmet, low-sodium soups they built a name on, and keeping in line with the rest of their locations and the spirit of their name, they change what’s in the pots every week, so call ahead if you have a picky palate or visit with an open mind and get ready to be impressed.
1243 ISLINGTON AVENUE
(Photo by Stijn Nieuwendijk via Flickr)