The Cassia Life

Soup’s On!

The Cassia Life
By Jesse Watkins, Cassia’s own resident blogger

Don’t care to cook? Like great soup? Got wheels? You can have your favorite soup and eat it too!

This week’s blog is about where to find good, already-made,”home-made” soup that you’re likely to love. Meaning it’s that good.

The initial list of restaurants that specialize in making a certain soup came to me from Lois Armstrong, an assisted living resident of Cassia’s Augustana Apartments in downtown Minneapolis. Several of us were in the building’s laundry room waiting for machines to become available and conversing about our food preferences. Lois remarked that she likes to buy a quantity of a favorite soup, to go, have a serving for supper, and save the rest in the fridge for another day. 

Lois grew up as one of five children. “We didn’t have much money, but often had neighbor kids and sometimes adults visiting us, especially Friday nights, which was our freedom night.  Mom fed us all on a big pot of bean and ham soup.”

Lois said she’s never been one to cook much, and still, at age 84, avoids it when possible. However she did get “famous” within her family for her very spicy-hot chili. “It was so hot that Dad added tomato juice to his to cool it down,” she recalls.

What’s vital to good soup is the stock, she adds, and her own preference is beef stock. “I also add no salt to my chili, none at all. Mom usually added no salt to her soups either,” Lois explains. “The flavor  has to come in the stock, from the natural flavor of the stock and other ingredients.”

Her list of restaurants and their specialty soups is not official, and has not been published anywhere, she informs me. I have verified the information by telephone calls to restaurant managers and chefs.

Minestrone Soup at Olive Garden Restaurants

“It’s a delicious and healthy vegetarian soup made with a variety of beans, pasta and vegetables,” says the restaurant’s web site. Get the breadsticks, too, which could be better but are okay. I can add my own personal endorsement of this soup; having had it several times at the restaurant as well as take-out.

Hamburger Vegetable Soup at Carol’s Restaurant in Blaine, a northern suburb of the Twin Cities

This popular soup is available daily. According to a manager by telephone, content of the soup changes with the seasonal availability of vegetables. For example, cabbage and potatoes are now included.

Chili at Chili’s Restaurants, with eight in the Twin Cities and suburbs

 “Our chili is world-famous, said the assistant manager on duty, but nobody seems to know what makes it so good.”

Wild Rice Soup at 50’s Grill

“We use ham instead of chicken in our wild rice soup,” informed a chef. The Grill also features Seafood Chowder on Friday.

Vegetable Beef Soup at Timber Lodge Steak House in Owatonna, Minnesota, south 50 miles on I-35

Cream of Tomato Soup at Panera Bread Restaurants

There are five Paneras in the metro Twin Cities.    

Baked Potato Soup at Outback Steakhouse

Considering Outback’s gusto online menu indicates this soup should be well worth a try. 

Yes, Soup’s On!