Diner's Journal: Weather-beating soups

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 31, 2014 - 2:33 PM

The matzo ball soup at Meritage.

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Warm up from the inside out with a bowl of soup.

 

The obsessive attention that Cafe Levain chef Adam Vickerman invests in his knockout of an onion soup is evident in each taste. And whiff. Onions, slowly nurtured on the stove, get a gentle overnight simmer in veal knuckle stock. Scraps of rib-eye follow, and when it’s time to serve, out comes the nose-tickling Fontina cheese and a flurry of sweet, crunchy onion rings. Truly, a meal in a bowl. $8, dinner only.

4762 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., 612-823-7111, www.cafelevain.com

 

At Union Fish Market, chef Lucas Almendinger refreshes the classic clam chowder formula by tinkering with its basic components and recomposing them into a deeply flavorful and dramatically presented stunner. A supple sunchoke purée, succulent razor clams, butter-poached potatoes and traces of smoke all add up to a spectacular winter warm-up. $10, dinner only.

731 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-455-6690, www.unionfishmpls.com

 

The peerless chicken soup at Meritage comes with its own little ritual. A bowl arrives with bits of diced carrots, wisps of dill and a pair of dreamy matzo balls. Then the server empties a pitcher of liquid gold — in the form of a pristine broth, one that shimmers with the essence of chicken flavor — into the bowl. The steam rises, unleashing its intoxicating scent and, with it, your appetite. Truly, therapy for the polar vortex-vexed. $8 lunch, $8.50 dinner.

410 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-222-5670, www.meritage-stpaul.com

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