A version of this article was first written for Tourisme Montreal
It’s the perfect time of year to be talking comfort food. And not just comfort food, but hot and spicy comfort food that will keep us warm while we go about our daily lives in this harsh and frigid weather of ours. And what spells out comfort food better than a big, steaming bowl of soup? To keep me (and you) warm and cozy this winter, here are some of my favourites.
Spanish zarzuela de mariscos at Restaurant Mesón
Filled with several kinds of seafood, zarzuela is the Spanish answer to the French bouillabaisse. Hearty and with a faint kick, it’s a great dish to consume when it’s cold out and you’re in need of a warm hug.
South East Asian laksa lemak soup at Satay Brothers
The Satay Brothers have garnered a cult following among Montrealers. Their Saint-Henri headquarters as well as their summer Atwater Market booth are always packed with revellers looking for great southeast Asian cuisine. Their laksa lemak soup, an Indonesian specialty made with coconut milk, is both sweet and spicy and will satisfy any hunkering for great bowl of comfort.
French onion soup with a twist at Restaurant Gus
Just like the rest of his cuisine, chef David Ferguson’s onion soup has extra layers of flavour and zing. The cheesy, hearty soup is prepared with guajillo pepper, red beer, pork hock, cheddar and ancho powder and is served with slices of fresh avocado at the bottom of the dish. You won’t be hungry (or cold!) after this soup.
Chinese wonton soup at Fung Shing
The beauty of a wonton soup lies in its simplicity: chicken broth, dumplings and perhaps a few leaves and some green onions. Which is why the broth has to be pristine and the wontons the best. At Fung Shing, the dumplings are plump and juicy and the broth is so flavourful. It’s the best remedy to a cold day.
Mexican pozole at La Tamalera
Traditional Mexican pozole soup is made with maize and a choice of meat and topped with cabbage, radish and other choice vegetables. It’s so hearty, it’s guaranteed to warm you up!
Vietnamese Pho at Pho Tay Ho
When I have a cold, I often crave a good pho. Somehow the broth, noodles and vegetables are a huge comfort and Pho Tay Ho is my go-to place in my hour of need. Any pho you pick will have a great broth and a generous helping of toppings. Squeeze in some sriracha for some extra heat.
Japanese ramen soup at Thazard
A Japanese restaurant with a French bistro feel, Thazard serves hearty vegetarian or pork laden ramen soups full of delicious broth, chewy noodles and great toppings, which you can enjoy for lunch or dinner.
Mulligatawny soup at Star of India
I’ve been a fan of Star of India for years. I believe they have the best butter chicken and saag aloo in Montreal. Their mulligatawny soup–a hearty lentil and vegetable concoction–is definitely recommended when the temperature plummets. And you just have to order one of their great naan breads to go with your soup.
There are, of course, countless other great soups in Montreal. Soupe soup for example is a chain of restaurants that always has a pot or two brewing on their stoves. I also recently had a great soup-to-go at Marché Jean Talon’s Le Tartarin. What are some of your favourite soups?