I didn’t make it past 9 am on the first cold week of the season before someone asked me where to get some interesting soups. There’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup on a cold day, but getting the same old soup just won’t do. Baton Rouge has lots of ways to warm up this season, so take your cold weather grub to a new level with these options.
Pho has become one of the most sought after cold weather dishes for good reason. It’s unique spices and rich broth make it feel like it has healing powers, and because you can pile in whatever proteins you want, there’s a pho for everyone. Baton Rouge is in a heated debate about who has the best, so try them all for yourself at Dang’s, Ava Street, Bao, Pho Cafe and Viet Garden.
Crab and Brie Soup from Mansur’s on the Boulevard is the most divine, luxurious way to warm up. A soup so rich that it’s all you need, as long as you have a loaf of their perfect French bread for dipping.
Okay, maybe pile on some loaded chargrilled oysters while you’re there, too.
Lemongrass Fire Pot Soup: The crew at Rama makes an incredible, rich, brothy lemongrass mushroom soup with tofu or shrimp. Like most vietnamese dishes, it’s tangy, sweet, sour and spicy. You can get a cup, but we recommend getting a Fire Pot soup that serves the whole table. It comes with fire in the center, so you know it’s piping hot. It’s fun and festive and sure to warm you up. Follow it with a spicy order order of pad thai.
Chili: Nothing beats a homemade, meaty chili on a cold night, but to get it right you need a lot of hours of simmer time. If you don’t have those hours to spare, Our Mom’s has you covered. They simmer their no bean chili for four hours, so you don’t have to.
Ramen: Chow Yum Phat has been giving us that satisfying, spicy ramen from their White Star location since it opened. Now, their brick and mortar spot on Hollydale Avenue has even more to offer. You can get this traditional, spicy japanese noodle soup vegan or in pork broth loaded with pork belly, smoked chicken or korean beef. Don’t sleep on the crispy fish curry, either.
Gumbo, duh. It’s our go-to for warmth here in the south, and so many folks do chicken and sausage right. But, it’s worth throwing in a shout out to Rouj Creole who offer a duck and andouille option, for a classy spin on your favorite. You can also count on The Chimes to knock a seafood gumbo out of the park.
Tomato Soup (and it better come with grilled cheese): We all know that there’s just one place that hits all the notes – Mid City Beer Garden. They have brought back the famous Chelsea’s Grilled Cheese that holds a special place in Baton Rouge hearts. You can even eat it by a fire there for the most glorious winter feels.
Tortilla or Black Bean Soup at Superior have made endless Tex-Mex diners happy. They do both of these humble soups so much justice. Don’t forget about it as a cold weather option this season!
Seafood Bisque: Elsie’s Plate and Pie has an endless list of comforting foods, but this season, I’m going straight for the bisque. Warm up your cajun blood with Elsie’s take on this classic dish.
Turtle Soup is a New Orleans classic that Parrain’s gets right. It has a spicy, dark, rich tomato broth, topped with sherry to balance it out. It does contain real turtle and is a staple worth trying.
French Onion Soup from Beausoliel is packed full of onion flavor, and comes properly covered and smothered in cheese, as it should.