by Mike Dunphy
Does soup ever taste better than when the temperature turns breath into icicles?
Perhaps that’s because warmth always feels better coming from the inside out
rather than the outside in. In the midst of the current Arctic blast, area chefs
are turning up the heat on the stoves and Crock-Pots, cooking up a range of soups that
both show off culinary skill and warm the core. Although the soup du jour may change
according to the jour, these five are scheduled to make appearances in January at area
Chicken Chili at Café Anna in Montpelier:
It’s worth the trudge uphill to the Vermont School of Fine Arts for a bowl of chicken chili
at Café Anna. Made according to a family recipe from café manager Elizabeth Deringer,
the deliciously peppery brew uses a “secret” eight-spice blend that features cumin. What
fuses it all so well together is eight hours of simmering in a Crock Pot.
36 College St., Vermont College of Fine Arts, 828-8699, http://cafeanna.vcfa.edu
Ramen at Beau in Montpelier:
Every Friday evening, Beau serves possibly the best soup in central Vermont. The
Tonkatsu Pork Belly Ramen uses noodles from Vermont Fresh Pasta, while the strips of
pork belly come from PT Farm in Haverhill, New Hampshire. The broth alone, made
from pigs at PT Farm and chickens from Maple Wind Farm in Richmond, is almost
worth the price. Garnishes and other ingredients change weekly.
207 Barre St., 225 6447, http://beauvt.com
Mulligatawny at Red Hen Baking in Middlesex:
Named for the Tamil word miḷakutaṇṇīr, which means “pepper water,” this traditional
curry soup of Indian origin varies widely in taste and body, as each chef adds his or her
own twist. Red Hen Baking’s version continues to win fans with its blend of Misty Knoll
chicken, Foote Brook Farm Yukon Gold potatoes, Deep Root Organic Co-op carrots,
fresh ginger and garlic, curry spices, organic red lentils, and organic coconut milk. The
Champlain Orchards apples make it all the more Vermonty.
961 US-2, 223-5200, redhenbaking.com
Coconut Dahl at Stowe Street Café in Waterbury
This hearty, vegan, and gluten-free soup grew so popular, it was featured in the 2017
Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook by local author Tracey Medieros. The recipe calls for
boiled red lentils mixed with cayenne pepper and turmeric, and then combined with a
separate blend of coconut oil, onion, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala, before
being finished off with coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice.
29 Stowe St #1, 882-8229, stowestreetcafe.com
Tomato Fennel at Bohemian Bakery in Montpelier
Bohemian Bakery co-owner Annie Bakst always tries to serve soups no one else has,
including Italian red lentil, and chard and Italian sausage. However, the tomato fennel
soup may win the crown with its mix of fresh fennel, roasted tomatoes, secret herbs and
spices, and a drizzle of the house-made basil pesto. Just when it couldn’t taste any better,
Bohemian adds a few strips of focaccia toasted with cheddar cheese for dipping.
78 Barre St., 461-8119, bohemianbakeryvt.com