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Super Soups: Warming Bowls for the Final Wintry Stretch

Leek potato soup at Dan Kelly's: comforting and beautiful

Leek potato soup at Dan Kelly's: comforting and beautiful

The steely gray of late March commands some type of action. These drab days, sad days, nothing-much-to-do days can drive one to:

A: Drink B: Cry C: Drink and Cry D: Climb into bed and consume soup

"D" being the most "centered" option, the one that will worry your family the least, our advice is to do just that. A list to get us all started on the road to sound mental health.

See also: The Third Bird gives comfort food the highbrow treatment

Like an austere yet captivating Chinese tea served in a delicate demitasse, Dan Kelly's Pub never fails to delight us with its carefully charming presentations of classic Irish fare. A tiny skillet of shepherd's pie gets tied up in a tea towel like a tasty gift. A filet of salmon sits so proudly upon its attendant veg it's like a crown upon a regal head. Leek-potato soup is lush and fine as a sauce and served in shiny earthenware with a lid; we like it so much better than a tableside pour for conserving heat. The side of robust bread goes a long way toward restoring mental capabilities.

Who knows more about staving off winter's grip than the Nords? Cream, butter, farmstead cheeses, and life-affirming bread: Few things can top this essential list for keeping the body upright when chill threatens to bend your will. A recent chowder of corn and salmon at FIKA was seasoned to precision and fortifying enough to get us on with the rest of the day, as much as one can ask for right about now.

Corn and salmon chowder at FIKA

Corn and salmon chowder at FIKA

While the northern Europeans are good for keeping us strong and above average, there's almost nothing better than a fist full of curry and spice when the one-note of winter sludge threatens to overwhelm. Thai cuisine is famous for its balance: sweet, sour, salty, spicy. When feeling unhinged, take pure equilibrium into your body in the form of a good, tightly balanced curry. Chino Latino has been busy updating its menu and this new Jungle Curry is like a warm, fragrant bath for your insides.

There's really no better thing than beef when the body gets weary. Taking in the protein, vitamins, and minerals, we can just feel ourselves getting ever more upright with every bite. At Coalition, the au jus sandwich is not some stack of pansy paper-thin shreds of meatstuff. Instead, it's a whole petit sirloin between two pieces of toasty foccacia, rubbed down prodigiously with nose-tingling horseradish and served with a hot lake of curative jus. Bone broths are reliable medicines, and a steak sandwich is much better than a spoonful of sugar.

The just under $5 soups of the day at the Buttered Tin are what all soups hope to grow up and be.The very essence of each season, it could be sweet corn singing a late August song, wild rice and chicken trapped happily in a bog of heavy cream, or puree of cauliflower that will have you reconsidering the prowess of that vegetable. A complete meal, beneficial in every way, this is respectable food for giving strength to good people.

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