Wining & Dining
Warm Up with Winter Soups
12/2/2017 3:30:36 PM
Winter Soups

One of the best things about a dreary, wet, cold winter day is breaking out a big bowl of a hearty soup. It doesn’t just make you feel good by warming your soul; soup on a cold day has a very practical purpose. It’s a great way to extend ingredients and reduce food waste, combine flavors that wouldn’t otherwise blend, and create meals that can be easily taken on the road. 

The practicality of soup is one of the reasons why cooking and serving food in liquid has been around almost as long as the concept of cooking. In fact, the very word "restaurant” comes to us from a bowl of soup. Derived from the French verb "Restaurer,” meaning "To restore,” "restaurant” was first used as a word in the 16th century to describe the thick inexpensive soups sold by street vendors. The soups were advertised to the busy working class as a way to restore your health and, much as they rightfully are today, billed as a cure for exhaustion caused by winter’s bleak climate.

In Southwest Louisiana, we have a strong history of great soups and stews. From gumbo to sauce piquante, and a myriad of combinations of slowly simmered beans and vegetables, our Cajun and Creole culture is rich with hearty fare. But many of our local eateries make delicious soup creations outside of that traditional Louisiana model, giving our winter palates a welcome, diverse break.

Specializing in original and traditional food from Asia, Hi-Licious Street Kitchen has been a staple of our growing local food truck scene. Unlike other restaurants specializing in Asian cuisine, Hi-Licious uses no MSG in their food, and always cooks with the freshest ingredients available. That attention to detail and quality shows in their incredible soups. Local favorites include their Spicy Ramen, Pho, and Chicken Noodle soups. Their menu changes occasionally, but you can bet that whatever comes out of this truck will be delicious.

A soup and sandwich has been a popular meal with Americans for decades. Buffi’s Peaux Boys is making that tradition their own with a distinct Louisiana twist. Known for their amazing poboys and wonderful service, Buffi’s has recently made a name for themselves with their Cabbage and Tasso Soup. The soup is creamy, not too spicy, but with a kick that warms your taste buds and your soul at the same time. Try it along with a half of one of their distinctive poboy specials. This soup is only available on Thursday, and you should call to reserve yours early as it sells out quickly.

The Lentil Soup at Toga Grill in Lake Charles is an old family tradition that has been graciously shared from the Holy Land with our community in SWLA. "It comes from where Jesus and all of his prophets were born. It has a lot of history behind it. I learned the recipe from my grandmother,” said Sammi Chloun, the mastermind at Toga Grill behind this delectable soup. Toga’s Lentil Soup is as good for your taste buds as it is for your health. "It literally touches your soul with all the irons, protein, and vitamins that’s in it,” said Sammi.

Whether fighting illness or just plain hunger, our corner of Louisiana is blessed to have these and many other warm options to get us through a cold winter.
Posted by: John O'Donnell | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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