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Batard

Where is all the soup in North New Jersey?

32 posts in this topic

My wife and I love soup, we could have it every day. We lived in Alexandria VA for a few years before moving back to NJ, and places where we could get superb quality soups to go abounded. We could get plain broth to excellent gumbo (which for the sake of discussion I am going to call soup) and everything in between. Fresh good soups made daily, all over town. We got super-spoiled.

So what's up with New Jersey? I have been back in NJ for over a year and I can't find any place to get a decent bowl of real from scratch soup. We make a lot of soup ourselves but that's not always an option. I though there used to place in Montclair that had like ten fresh soups daily, but that place seems to be gone now.

Someone please help us, we are getting weaker by the day.

Is there a NJ equivalent of Yeganeh's Soup Kitchen International?? Anyplace that cooks up a nice broth, or gumbo, or fish soup? Anything? :blink:


Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Before anyone brings them up, DO NOT mistake the "Original Soup Kitchen" or whatever they call themselves with the real "soup nazi AKA soup kitchen" in NY. It's foul mass-produced stuff, overly salted.

FWIW, Al Yeganeh is probably removing himself from that partnership with the franchise, inside sources told me. He's not happy about many of the things they have done.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Agree on the soup nazi franchise stores; they serve over processed, salty (MSG or someother chemical) garbage. I am excited to hear that Hale and Hearty from the city is going to open up in Livingston on rt. 10. As it is I think they make the best soup in the city....

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I suspect that most of the good soup available in NNJ is being made in our kitchens, Batard! I'm with you; there are very few soups that I can purchase that aren't overly salty/chemical, etc. The place that went out of business in Montclair was The Daily Soup, which was on Watchung, but not at Watchung Plaza. TDS is a small chain, also in NYC, and I'm pretty sure there is still one on Halsey Street in Newark near the Rutgers campus. I thought some of their soups were great, but definitely $$$$, especially for the serving sizes.

While I'm not a huge fan of the place (maybe b/c there's something so old-lady about it), there is a place on Church Street in Montclair that has a number of (I'm told) house-made soups each day. Iirc, it's called the Stock Pot, but don't quote me on the name! It's across Church St from the movie theater. Tiny storefront.

I'd tell you to go to Binh Duong in Belleville or Viet Ai in Florham Park to get excellent pho--even to go! :smile:


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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The Whole Foods in West Orange has a nice selection of soups in their huge takeout section. Also, Sandwich Theory (formerly the Cheese Shop) on Valley Road in Upper Montclair has two or three soups every day.

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The Whole Foods in West Orange has a nice selection of soups in their huge takeout section. 

I'm not sure why, but I'm always disappointed by Whole Foods' soups...are there any in particular that you like, Montclairite?


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Not a fan of Whole Foods soups (I did my extern from CIA there) and I know that they come from a commisary, pre-bagged, dated, and loaded with salt. It's funny, at Picnic, we always do three homemade soups every morning (much to the chargrin of the staff who has to come in mighty early), and the only complaint I get is they are NOT salty enough! Oh well, can't please them all!

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When the Whole Foods in West Orange was still brand spankin new I went there and picked up a couple of the soups they sell by the Fish Fry/Dine in counter. They both smelled good and looked nice enough. One was a shrimp bisque (I think) and the other was a salmon chowder. It had nice pieces of salmon in it. I thought the bigger kid would like it. Brought it home and served it to her and she said "mom this has no flavor." So I stuck in a spoon and sure enough it was like eating thicken water with some salmon pieces. the only stuff with any taste was the actual salmon. A couple of days later I went back to Whole Foods with my receipt. The manager was wonderful. I told him what happened. as picnicChef mentioned, the soups are not made there. The manager told me they come in in bags. We suspected that they spices were completely left out of this soup. They refunded my money and apologized.

The shrimp bisque was good though.

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Yes, I agree, good homemade soup is hard to find. Some of the good ones can be found at the family-run delis that have also become rarer and rarer around these parts. Some of my faves:

Picnic, Kinderkamack Road,Emerson

Ted's Deli, Rochelle Park

Michael's Deli, Cresskill

Chez Cheeze, Tenafly

Marra's, Emerson.

Maywood Seafood has some damn good chowders.

Forget WF Soup, blecch. And some of the Diners used to have some good soup, but with the Diner deline that is also a rarity these days.

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I told him what happened. as picnicChef mentioned, the soups are not made there. The manager told me they come in in bags. We suspected that they spices were completely left out of this soup. They refunded my money and apologized.

My favorite Whole Foods soup is the Seafood Gumbo, which I have not seen at a WF since I was in Alexandria VA. The soup base does come prepackaged in a large bag, and the base is nicely done and not too salty, and uses real Okra.

What they would do is add fish and shrimp from the fish counter to the base and make a nice thick seafood gumbo. If they didn't do that it would just have been another blah soup. To guild the lilly, I would buy 1 andouille sausage, saute it down, and add it to the gumbo. Other than that, I did not really like any of their other soups.

Thanks everyone for offering so many local options to this thread. After New Year's I am going to start trying the different locations and try to offer some feedback.


Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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I like the soups at Silver Gourmet in Ridgewood, especially the Sweet Potato & Pear.

Agree 100% on whole foods soups. Luckily I've never bought any, but every time I try one - butternut squash, cumin carrot, chicken noodle - it tastes over-seasoned and totally processed. I'm so disapointed that they don't make their own soup in house. What's happened to Whole Foods? When I lived near Alexandria, VA it was the best place to go. Now it's Whole Paycheck minus the quality that gave them their name.

Also agree on Soup Kitchen - we had ill effects directly after eating that soup, we still joke and laugh about it. Fine for a punchline, but not for lunch, would be my slogan for them.

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I like the soups at Silver Gourmet in Ridgewood, especially the Sweet Potato & Pear.

I've never heard of this place, nor is it listed in any of the directories..

Could you kindly post the address of this place? Perhaps some more info about the type of place it is-- deli, restaurant, etc? Thanks.

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Think s/he meant Silver Oak?


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Belgiovine's Deli in Montclair also makes their own soups every day. There are usually one or two hot ones (more varieties are available frozen) on offer, sometimes three. You won't find a choice of ten but you will find 'em freshly made.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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probably meant the silver spoon (deli/catering) in ridgewood on ridgewood ave, although I prefer rocca's market in glen rock and (some soups) at frankie's in wyckoff on wyckoff ave.

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probably meant the silver spoon (deli/catering) in ridgewood on ridgewood ave, although I prefer rocca's market in glen rock and (some soups) at frankie's in wyckoff on wyckoff ave.

Yes, thanks for jumping in. It is Silver Spoon on Ridgewood Ave.

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Just realized I forgot to mention the wonderful homemade soups at Isabella's Deli, Closter. Really good, made from scratch!

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Hale and Hearty opened in Livingston this week. I tasted a bunch of the soups, they had about 10-15 choices, very tasty. Nice place/environment (much bigger than the locations in the city) and seemingly nice people, I got to meet the executive chef who told me that they have about 200 varieties in the repertoire...


Edited by LJC (log)

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Mardi Gras in Verona, next to Amazing Hot Dog, has great soup.

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Mardi Gras in Verona, next to Amazing Hot Dog, has great soup.

This may be true, but who has room for soup after you've eaten at AHD?!? :laugh:

Seriously--iirc, the Hale & Hearty Soup was one of my favorite 'tastes' when I went to the Fancy Food Show for the first time, back in...2000, maybe? They just signed on to do a big restaurant in the NYTimes building in NYC this week, so the company is obviously in expansion mode!


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Went in for lunch yesterday and I am falling in love... The soup was great; they had too many choices to count and they let you taste as many as you want. I wound up getting the Clam Chowder (excelent) and then I brought home some Pea Soup for tonight. It is great to have them near by.

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Went in for lunch yesterday and I am falling in love... 

Just to clarify...this was at Hale & Hearty?


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Yes. Let's keep it in the perspective of this being a new place in an area with poor options and no good soup (I have not found a single variety from WF that I really enjoy or crave). Or it's just exciting to have a new opening in the hood. Sorry for my over exuberance but it is pretty darn good (love may be too strong).


Edited by LJC (log)

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I tried a few of these places since I started this thread. First I went to The Daily Soup on Halsey in Newark. I found the soup pretty good, definitely home made and not over salty, but it was quite expensive. Which I would not mind paying, except the soup seems to be lacking the main ingredients. The Carribean Seafood Stew had chunks of potato, no seafood to be found. Senegalese Peanut w/Chicken was OK, but where's the chicken? And try to find the crab in the Boston Crab Chowder. I tried like 6 different soups. and they were al good, but very one dimensional in flavor.

The place called the Stock Pot in Montclair was very good. Besides the soups specials each day, they have about 10 different soups available frozen in quart containers. All the ones I tried were excellent. Apparently the owner's son makes all the soups. At any rate, I am very satisfied with their soups.

just thought I would pass that along. :)


"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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