6 chicken soups to try this fall
Chicken soup may seem as American as Andy Warhol, but souls across the globe take solace in chicken soups that will never see the inside of a Campbell’s can. You may already love the warmly spiced mulgatawny at House of India in University City or the matzo ball soup worthy of bubbe at Protzel’s Deli in Clayton, but there are many more distinctive international varieties available around town. Spicy, sour, soothing or taste bud-tingling, here are six ways to slurp your way around the world ladle by ladle.
1. Chicken Tom yum from Fork & Stix
The spicy-as-you-want-it chicken tom yum from Fork & Stix is a palate-punching golden broth flavored with lemongrass, kefir lime leaves, galangal, tamarind, fish sauce and spicy ground chiles with white chicken meat, tomatoes, cilantro, shimeji mushrooms and scallions. Tom yum, indeed.
549 Rosedale Ave., St. Louis, 314.863.5572, forknstix.com
2. Aguadito de Pollo from Mango
Freshness in a bowl, the aguadito de pollo at Mango is hearty but light with tender rice, cubed chicken, peas, carrots, corn, green peppers and green beans in a cilantro-citrus broth. This Peruvian sopa is bright and cheery thanks to a citrusy hit of lemon and cilantro.
1001 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9993, mangoperu.com
3. Spicy Tortilla Soup from Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen
The smoky lingering heat from Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen’s spicy tortilla soup is exclamation worthy in any language. Shredded chicken joins roasted poblano peppers, tender zucchini and cilantro in a translucent savory broth. Crispy tortilla strips crown this bowl of south-of-the-border satisfaction.
8½ S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.361.4443, tortillaria.net
4. Pho Ga from Mai Lee
Be warned: Once you dip a spoon in Mai Lee’s version of traditional Vietnamese pho ga, you will not be able to stop. The flavors of cinnamon, clove, anise and rock candy soak into the rice noodles, creating an addictive umami flavor enhanced by the large chunks of white meat chicken and an herbaceous blend of white onion, basil, cilantro and culantro. Garnish to your heart’s content with lime juice, bean sprouts, basil, jalapeno and more cilantro.
8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood, 314.645.2835, maileestl.com
5. Doro Wat from Meskerem
The heat from Meskerem’s doro wat starts small and quickly builds before raining down a spice that lingers. The thick traditional Ethiopian stew shows off chicken legs and onions braised in stock heavily seasoned with berberé (an Ethiopian spice blend) and flavored with rich nitter kibbeh (a spiced clarified butter), all topped with a hard-boiled egg. Give your spoon a rest and sop up the stew with accompanying tangy injera bread and vibrant yellow lentils.
3210 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.772.4442, meskeremstl.com
6. Sancocho from Mi Caribe
Hearty is an understatement. The sancocho at Mi Caribe is a rib-sticking stew packed with chicken, pork and beef. If that doesn’t fill you up, the soft, sweet yams, firm plantains and starchy yucca certainly will. All simmered together into a rich, thick broth, this Dominican version of the year-round Caribbean staple hits the back of your palate with pleasant and subtle spice courtesy of lively, satisfying sofrito (a Dominican mirepoix).
3701 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 314.696.8719, micaribestl.com
Editor's note: Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen and Mi Caribe have closed.
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