Ranked: The 10 Coziest Soups
See where hitters like Clam Chowder, Cappelletti In Brodo, and French Onion stack up according to our scientific scale of 1-6 kittens 🐱
Throughout January, we’ll be posting reported features, essays, lists, and more around our monthly theme: Comfort.
The New York Times recently predicted that 2024 would be The Year Of Soup, except that every year is the Year of Soup. Every season, every month, right now. Especially right now: it's the middle of winter. Nothing is cozier than tucking into a hot bowl of soup on a cold day; it's like wearing a pair of warm liquid slippers. A famous Campbell’s commercial from 1993 starts with a snowman slurping steaming canned soup from a spoon as the ice melts away to reveal a little boy. That's the power of soup, friends.
But just how cozy is soup, and how do these soups stack up against one another in the pantheon of coziness? Here's a quick ranking of the coziest soups and where you can find them here in New York. The coziness is rated on a highly scientific scale of one to six kittens, with one kitten being not cozy, kind of sad, poor little fella, and six kittens being extremely cozy, all snuggled up together in a basket. Yes, this is the perfect rating system.
What Is It: A Spanish soup served cold, made from chopped tomatoes and other chopped vegetables, like cucumber and garlic.
Soup Fact: The name gazpacho comes from an Arabic word for "soaked bread." I like to call it 'Ketchup Soup.’
Is It Cozy? 🐱 No. It is not cozy, but it is delicious. It is cold, which is great if it's hot outside.
Where To Find It: El Pote Espanol (yes, even in January)
Beef & Barley Soup
What Is It: Tender chunks of slow-cooked beef, plump, toothsome barley kernels, a rich, savory broth. Beef and Barley soup is both hearty and elegant.
Soup Fact: This soup comes from Scotland, where it's sometimes called 'Scotch Broth.'
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱. Ok, getting a little cozier, soup.
Where To Find It: Gage & Tollner
What Is It: A Mexican chicken stew made from tomatillos, chiles, and hominy. Every bite sings with cilantro, red onions, and lime juice.
Soup Fact: The ancient Aztecs considered pozole to be a sacred food and ate it during religious ceremonies.
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱1/2 Si, we like where this is going.
Where To Find It: Jajaja Mexicana
Nong-Khai Style Pho
What Is It: Pho is a delicate noodle soup that packs a wallop of flavor. Nong-Khai-style Pho is made with brisket, oxtail, and herbs like basil and rice noodles. Like all pho, it is humble but potent.
Soup Fact: A traditionally Vietnamese dish, Pho draws inspiration from Chinese and French cuisines.
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱🐱 Warmer…
Where To Find It: Khe-Yo
Cappelletti In Brodo
What Is It: A cousin of tortellini, cappelletti is a kind of stuffed pasta that, when served in a rich broth, is a simple and filling soup.
Soup Fact: Cappelletti comes from the Italian word "caplèt," because the pasta looks like a small hat. Mmm, small hat in broth.
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱🐱1/2 Warmer…
Where To Find It: Rezdôra (but only for lunch!)
What Is It: A stew that glows red with kimchi, fermented cabbage, tofu, and bits of pork. It is deeply satisfying, clearing sinuses and souls alike.
Soup Fact: It can take up to 21 days to ferment a batch of kimchi, which is made from sliced vegetables like cabbage, spiced with red paste, and brined in a jar.
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱🐱🐱 Now we’re getting better. It's too bad you can't hug soup.
Where To Find It: Cote
New England Clam Chowder
What Is It: This is the luxury sedan of cream-based seafood soups.
Soup Fact: Tomato-based Manhattan Clam Chowder is a beta chowder. It's watery and vastly inferior to New England's Greatest Soup. It reminds me of a depressed bouillabaisse.
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱🐱🐱1/2 You will feel this in your toes.
Where To Find It: Cull & Pistol
What is it? A soulful Mediterranean soup that celebrates the mighty lentil; depending on the recipe, that legume can carry herbs, vegetables, and bacon on its back.
Soup Fact: Lentils are the oldest crop known to humanity. They date back 13,000 years.
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 Are you kidding me?
Where to Find It: The Mark Restaurant by Jean Georges
What Is It: Traditionally served during Passover, Matzo Ball Soup is pure comfort, an old-school chicken soup with carrots and plump dumplings that absorb the rich broth.
Soup Fact: Competitive eater Joey Chestnut ate 78 matzo balls in 8 minutes in 2008. It's hard to believe that record still stands.
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 1/2. There are few cozier.
Where To Find It: Second Avenue Deli
Onion Soup Gratinée
What Is It: Pure umami. This comforting soup blends beef stock and caramelized onions and tops that with cheese and croutons and then broiled so everything is melty and crunchy. The French love it for a reason (it’s delicious.)
Soup Fact: Julia Childs once said, "It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions". She's right, but I'd add "...and soup."
Is It Cozy? 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 Possibly the coziest of all time.
Where To Find It: Balthazar