With temperatures dropping to record lows in some areas of Southwest Florida, there's not much more comforting—or warming—than a great bowl of soup. Here are a few local favorites that will get the job done.
Indigenous' popular wild mushroom bisque gets rave reviews for its creamy wild mushroom bisque, which is chock-full of those delicious fungi and served with crunchy truffled rye croutons.
Yummy House's Hong Kong-style wonton soup has wontons stuffed with shrimp and pork in a flavorful broth that will warm you right up on cold days.
If you're looking for authentic Vietnamese pho, look no further than Pho Cali. The rare steak and Vietnamese beef meatballs pho is made with beef broth and rice noodles, topped with scallions, onions and cilantro, and served with a side of bean sprouts, basil, lime and jalapeño peppers.
The signature soup at Crab & Fin is Charley’s Chowder, and it’s been on the menu since the beginning. A simple Mediterranean fish chowder, it’s beautifully seasoned, has a nice chunky consistency and a bright flavor profile. Make sure you have it with the salty house bread.
For vegetarians, the porcini bisque at Capital Grille could be an unforgettable choice. It’s bracing, rich and expresses the full, pungent, woody flavor of those prized Italian mushrooms and appropriate herbs.
The traditional chicken soup at Seasons 52 is just what you want in a steaming bowl of culinary comfort. It comes with large pieces of tender, shredded chicken, carrot, celery, onion, a few herbs and seasonings and then corkscrew pasta to make it extra hearty and satisfying.
The New England-style clam chowder at the Lazy Lobster starts with sautéing chunks of potato and onion in rendered bacon fat. Then come clam broth, lots of cream and mounds of littleneck clams, seasoned with a bit of garlic, thyme and basil. They had us at the bacon fat.
The Bijou Cafe is famous for soups, both hot and chilled, but the house shrimp and crab bisque is truly a grand indulgence. This creamy-sturdy bisque is composed of baby shrimp, blue crab, cognac, sherry, cream and just the right amount of butter, broth, herbs and gentle spices.
A chilly Anna Maria Island afternoon calls for Beach Bistro's famous bistro bouillabaisse. Come hungry for this indulgent seafood stew, which is comprised of poached-to-order lobster tails, jumbo shrimp, fish, shellfish and calamari. It's served with a side of herbed garlic toast and aiöli.
Sliced chicken is cooked in coconut milk with straw mushrooms, onions, scallions, galangal, lemongrass and ma-goot leaves. Pro tip: order the "pot" size; the soup is presented over a simmering pot with a fire element that will keep your dish warm throughout the whole meal.