Roadtest: Get souped up

Ciao searches for the best soups in the Inner West

Mekong Noodle Bar, Leichhardt
Vietnamese Pho Soup (Beef)

While pho is traditionally a breakfast dish, I think most Westerners have a hard time picturing this meaty, noodle broth as their wake-up meal and really it can be had at any time of the day. At Mekong Delta on Norton Street I’d recommend coming in at lunchtime for the special because who doesn’t love a discount? This is a very authentic dish with chillies, lemon and sauces served on the side, to be added according to your preference. You will feel whisked away to South-East Asia as soon as this soup is placed at your table. By the time you leave (hopefully not too sweaty from an over-indulgence in chilli, as happened to me) you will be more than satisfied.

$8.90 lunch special.



Catherine & Piper, Lilyfield
Minestrone Soup

I’m used to vegetarian minestrone soup with cannellini beans but I have to admit this version of ‘Italian style’ minestrone, complete with bacon bits, was pretty hearty and satisfying. Served with two slices of toasted bread, the main flavours that come through are tomato and bacon, while the tiny cubes of carrot, potato and zucchini add a little bit of chunkiness to it and make it filling enough to be a meal on its own. It’s quite a generous serve but you may need to add a shake of pepper if you like your soups a little more on the spicy side.

$9 on the regular lunch menu.



AboutLife, Rozelle
Soup of the Day

This organic natural marketplace generally has a couple of different soups made fresh daily sitting in hot cauldrons at the front of the shop. On the day I visited there was a ‘Nourishing and Cleansing Broth’ on offer (which was some kind of clear vegan mystery broth that smelt like stock but was a lot spicier, super healthy and refreshing), as well as a Thai style creamy coconut soup made with corn and Thai spices. The latter was delicious, though neither were particularly filling on their own so make sure you add bread.

$4.90 for a medium cup, or $7.90 for a package with salad and a bread roll.



West Juliett Cafe, Marrickville
Northern Greek style beef and potato stew

This substantial soup is the perfect winter lunch to warm you up from the inside out. Made with bits of tender cubed beef, green beans and quartered potatoes, and finished with a sprinkling of rosemary and pepper, you’ll feel like you’re having a roast dinner with all the trimmings in the middle of the day! This is a real rich, rustic Mediterranean style soup that looks, smells and tastes like something your grandma would make at home. It’s served with three generous pieces of crusty brown bread and although it costs a little more you are definitely getting a little more for your money.

$13.90 on the winter lunch menu.



Words: Max Kobras & Nancy Merlo

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