How do you get the feeling back into your fingers after a frigid walk? We suggest wrapping them around a delicious bowl of hot soup.
Forget the red-labeled can at home, though. Brave the cold and head to one of these restaurants, where a warm payoff awaits with one of these great gourmet soups. January is National Soup Month, after all.
EN Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson St., 212-647-9196
This modern Japanese izakaya pays homage to the country’s traditional winter hot pot with Dassai Dai-Ginjo Sake-Kasu Nabe ($32). The soup, which is cooked tableside, is made with organic chicken, a chicken tsukune — a sort of meatball — and cabbage, carrots, scallions, rice noodles and a sake broth.
Mermaid Oyster Bar
79 MacDougal St., 212-260-0100
The Mermaid Oyster Bar (and The Mermaid Inn restaurants) are known for seafood, so when the temperatures dip, you’ll want to try the lobster bisque ($8), made with fish stock, roasted vegetables, rice, lobster meat and a splash of cream. The pureed bisque is finished with a topping of traditional aioli sauce and a baguette crouton covered in Gruyere.
209 E. 49th St., 212-751-4545
The restaurant focuses on cuisine from the coasts of Mexico. Its Sopa De Elote ($13) is a gourmet take on a traditional Mexican corn soup. Placed at the bottom of each bowl is a Huitlacoche dumpling. The bowl is then filled with a smooth broth made of corn, cream, salt and pepper.
Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar
2 Park Ave., 212-725-8585
The best part of any French onion soup is the topping of gooey, melted cheese, and Artisanal takes that delicious garnish seriously. Made from Gruyere, Comte Beaufort, Emmental and Parmigiano-Reggiano, the cheese on the Onion Soup Artisanal ($12.50) is perfectly browned and bubbled over a baguette crouton. The soup is made with red and yellow onions, shallots and leeks cooked in a beef stock, white wine and sherry emulsion.
187 Orchard St., 212-260-7900
Try the Thai Coconut Broth with Shrimp & Vegetables ($11) at this Asian fusion restaurant in the Thompson LES Hotel. The soup — an Asian take on seafood chowder — is inspired by Chef Susur Lee’s travels to Thailand. The creamy coconut broth is mixed with corn, tomatoes, potatoes, jumbo shrimp and lemongrass. It is served with homemade whole-wheat Chinese bread.
152 W. 52nd St., btwn 6th and 7th Ave., 212-265-9700
The Pumpkin Soup at this Bobby Flay spot is made with pumpkin seeds and a cranberry-maple crème fraiche ($12) and was created to taste like liquid pumpkin pie. The vegetable stock is topped off with Mexican cinnamon, a high-quality maple syrup and other fall spices such nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
114 Kenmare St., 646-613-7100
Forget your mama’s chicken noodle soup. La Esquina’s Chicken Tortilla Soup ($7) will definitely knock your sinuses open. The dish is popular in Mexico, where it originated as a cheap way to use leftover chicken and tortillas. At this restaurant, the soup is more gourmet — made with chicken tomato broth with diced avocado, onions, ancho chilies, lime juice and a topping of queso fresco.
144 Second Ave. at Ninth St., 212-228-9682
With about 5,000 gallons of borscht sold each year, this soup is king at Veselka. And there are plenty of options: A traditional hot meat borscht with pulled pork and a hot vegetarian borscht, a vegetarian Christmas borscht served with mushroom dumplings and a cold vegetarian borscht. Bowls are $4.75 and cups are $3.50. If you want to take it to go, Veselka also pints ($4.75) and quarts ($8.50) of borscht.