Six signature soups to sample for National Soup Month

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Images courtesy Ramen House Raijin
The Spicy Champon at Ramen House Raijin

January is National Soup Month and we’ve rounded up six local places where you can warm your spirits and ward off those winter blues. Cozy up to a bowl of one of the region's most popular soup dishes. 

Bistro 103

Auburn’s Bistro 103, which opened its doors last year, offers a hearty beef stew with its winter menu. First, a mirepoix (a veggie combo of carrots, onions and celery) is cooked down to establish the stew’s thickness, and combined with high-quality beef round and potato chunks. The stew brews throughout the day, ready in time to be served for dinner with a side of crostini, perfect for lunch the following day with a sandwich or salad. 103 Sacramento St. Auburn. 530-888-1033.

Tequila Museo Mayahuel

The signature bright green soup, the Crema de Chile Poblano, at Ernesto Delgado’s acclaimed downtown Mexican restaurant, is composed of roasted poblano chili peppers, heavy cream, chicken stock, cilantro and a festive garnish of Mexican sour cream and fried tortilla chips. While the poblano is not considered a particularly spicy pepper, the soup’s kick depends on the chilies, ranging from mild to feverish. 1200 K St. 441-7200.

Muntean’s Soup, Salad & Sandwiches

Fifteen meat-lover and vegetarian-friendly soups are made daily at this downtown soup mecca, created according to themes like Romanian on Tuesday, Greek on Wednesday and Hungarian on Thursday. Highlights include the creamy Salmon Chowder, the Romanian Mulligatoni with four types of meat, vegetables and pasta, and the Supa de Mushroom made with simmered mushrooms and non-dairy cream. A warm slice of housemade Romanian focaccia bread is the perfect accompaniment. 1225 J St. 498-9340.

Danielle’s Crêperie

The popular French Onion Soup at this French café is crafted with sautéed onions tossed in a boiling broth and set to simmer for three hours before it’s ready to serve with loads of melty Gouda cheese, croutons and a layer of Swiss to give it a crispy top. Pair it with a French dip sandwich or tuck into a 16-ounce bowl on its own. 3535 Fair Oaks Blvd. 972-1911.

Ramen House Raijin

The fan favorite at this midtown ramen house is the Gekikara Ramen, but be sure to watch your tongue—“gekikara” directly translates to “very spicy” in Japanese. The base consists of a spicy shoyu pork broth mixed with noodles and veggies like black mushrooms, cabbage and carrots topped with chicken. The Spicy Champon with shrimp is another perfect accompaniment to chilly weather. Cool down with a glass of soju, a distilled Korean rice liquor that Raijin offers in nine different flavors like lemonade and mango. 1901 S St. 498-9968.

Oak Park Brewing Company

Beer isn't the only thing on tap at Oak Park’s resident brewery. Its inventive menu is equally popular, and the white rabbit soup is a standout. Crafted with a hearty mix of rabbit stock, white beans and braised rabbit meat with veggies like carrots, onions, celery, leeks and oregano, a bowl pairs well with the brewery’s light Rope Swing Cream Ale or a hot panini. 3514 Broadway. 660-2723.

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