The 9 Best New Soups to Try Right Now
Photo: Bobby Doherty

There was a time, not so long ago, when soup was what you got at the soup kitchen when you were down on your luck. Soup was the spécialité de la maison chez Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Soup was what your grandparents ordered when they took you out to a restaurant. Now, soup has become fashionable. Marco Canora is having to beat back the East Village crowds with a ladle at his Brodo takeout window, where he sells his bone broth in sip-lid coffee cups to go. And Brodo, as improbable as it may seem, has inspired a slew of imitators, from Greenmarket meat vendors to hipster dumpling shops. As for Dave Chang’s pronouncement on that ramen is dead, you need look no further than his comrade Peter Meehan’s rebuttal on the site for a reasonable refutation of that argument. Or just pull on your Heattech long underwear and get in line outside the recently opened Mu Ramen in Long Island City, or the new Ramen Lab on Kenmare Street, one cold and miserable night, and decide for yourself. Here, nine new bowls that turn soup from simple nourishment to winter’s hottest liquid assets.

*This article appears in the January 26, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.

Alder, $16 You can almost picture Kermit skipping across the lily pads in this edible trompe l’oeil: The soup’s surface is dappled with nasturtium flowers and leaves. The housemade wontons are filled with sous-vide frogs’ legs, crunchy kuro edamame, and creamy parsnip purée. And the broth of pressure-cooked carrots and ginger gets its sweet, vibrant flavor, according to Wylie Dufresne, from the black dirt in which Greenmarket farmer Alex Paffenroth grows his roots. 157 Second Ave., nr. 10th St.; 212-539-1900 Photo: Bobby Doherty
Mission Cantina, $14 Like some kind of emergency hangover clinic, this Danny Bowien kitchen recently began serving for breakfast the type of Vietnamese street food that is unsurpassed in alleviating even the severest post-binge condition. Chief among these dishes is this hot, heady, flavorful broth enhanced by fat rice-stick noodles, herbs, bean sprouts, hoisin, and Sriracha. 172 Orchard St., at Stanton St.; 212-254-2233 Photo: Bobby Doherty
Dirt Candy, $30 In her new 60-seat premises, Amanda Cohen will finally have the room to serve large-format dishes for two like this inventive riff on the Chinese hot pot. The broth, flavored with smoked cabbage and fermented black beans, is poured from a teapot over cabbage-kale ramen noodles and fresh herbs; diners customize their bowls with all forms of plant matter, from lotus root and pickled ginger to miso halvah and kimchee. 86 Allen St., nr. Broome St.; 212-228-7732 Photo: Bobby Doherty
The Little Beet Table, $9 Franklin Becker’s reimagined ribollita may be meatless, not to mention breadless, but with two types of beans (cannellini and Great Northern), plus cavolo nero two ways (in the tomato-based broth and dehydrated for a crisp garnish), it’s just as soothing as nonna used to make. 333 Park Ave. S., nr. 25th St.; 212-466-3330 Photo: Bobby Doherty
Lumpia Shack Snackbar, $7 In his two-pronged quest to add a soup to his winter menu and satisfy his vegetarian wife, Neil Patrick Syham reinterprets the traditional Filipino dish of squash in coconut milk with fermented shrimp paste as a velvety, tropical potage. He purées kabocha with coconut milk and tops it with fried sage and a dollop of Anita’s coconut yogurt, a fermented product that stands in nicely for the shellfish. 50 Greenwich Ave., nr. Perry St.; 917-475-1621 Photo: Bobby Doherty
Cosme, $22 Enrique Olvera’s ultrarefined pozole includes a little tableside showmanship: Your server pours the pork-based broth, redolent of dried chiles and Mexican oregano and fortified with crisp-fried cubes of pork jowl and large, chewy purple-corn kernels over a cool patch of iceberg lettuce, delfino cilantro, and Greenmarket radishes. You crumble the tostadas into the soup like Saltines yourself. 35 E. 21st St., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-913-9659 Photo: Bobby Doherty
Botequim, $12 Delicately flavored and bafflingly creamy without the cheat of cream, Marco Moreira’s hearts-of-palm purée is a delicious platform for a smorgasbord of garnishes including sweet peppers, avocado, almonds, Brazil nuts, micro-cilantro, and a judicious splatter of dendê oil. 132 Fourth Ave., at 13th St.; 212-432-1324 Photo: Bobby Doherty
Porchetta, $10 Sara Jenkins’s new Wednesday-night special swaps her signature roast pork for this Burmese curry’s traditional chicken. Like its Thai cousin, khao soi, it combines boiled and deep-fried egg noodles with an intricately spiced coconut-milk curry that Jenkins flavors with fish sauce and thickens with chickpea flour. 110 E. 7th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-777-2151 Photo: Bobby Doherty
Mu Ramen, $18 Add 65 pounds of oxtail, a truckload of beef tendons, plus a bunch of bones (veal neck, marrow, and femur) to pot. Cover with water. Boil for 22 hours. Strain through a chinois. Add tare and secret all-natural “umami bomb” sauce. Serve with noodles, half-sour pickles, cabbage, menma, wood-ear mushrooms, and ten-day-brined brisket. Sous-vide egg optional. That’s the recipe for Joshua Smookler’s sensational Jewish-deli-inspired house ramen, should you wish to whip up a batch at home. 1209 Jackson Ave., nr. 48th Ave., Long Island City 917-868-8903 Photo: Bobby Doherty
NYC’s Best New Soups