SOUP’S ON, AND GOOD TO GO
Laudy Hage of Zaitooni Deli with a quart of her popular lentil soup. Below, the vegan Mediterranean eggplant soup from Healthy Habits Natural Foods. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By SUSAN ERICSON
Soup is hot this time of year, as a go-to meal for dinner, a spicy, flavorful lunch, or a soul-warming remedy for what ails you.
It’s also an affordable takeout item to grab when that holiday rush kicks in.
PieHole is here to give you a round-up of restaurants and delis on the Green that have soup simmering and ready to be ladled into containers just for you. Carnivore, vegetarian or vegan, we’ve got you covered.
Tom Fishkin ladles a quart of clam chowder to go at Readies Market Cafe on Broad Street. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
On Broad Street in Red Bank, Readies Market Café makes four soups a day. “All of the soups are house-made,” said owner Tom Fishkin. “We always have one vegetarian and one seafood type, but the French onion soup has been requested a lot lately.” A standard quart to take home will cost about $8.50 but some of the seafood concoctions can run $12 to $14, depending on the ingredients.
One block down, at Healthy Habits Natural Foods, a hand-drawn “hot soup” sign in the window caught our attention. Inside, a table set up with two tureens of soup were ready to go. PieHole was excited to learn that owner Khalid Channa always has a hot vegan soup – on this day, Mediterannean eggplant –and another variety for takeout. He also also offers a vegetarian three-bean chili and, on occasion, a French onion. Soups are priced at $3.99 for 12 ounces and $4.99 for 16 ounces. The store is open during the week till 7 p.m.
On Mechanic Street, Laudy Hage is filling containers to go or stay at Zaitooni Deli. The bellywarming lentil soup, made with dry mint, garlic and a little lemon juice, is popular, she said. It is vegetarian, and brightly delicious with that surprising zing of acidity from the lemon. She also has two other soups on the stove every day. One might be a hearty lamb-and-vegetable, stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup, or seven beans and barley. The quart size of lentil will set you back $10, while the lamb and vegetable is $12. Friday and Saturday, they are open till 8:00 PM.
Monmouth Meats on Monmouth Street, across from the Count Basie Theatre, sells four different varieties of soup every day, all house-made. The hot Italian sausage with cabbage is indeed hot and spicy. This is the kind of soup that will warm you from your core right down to your toes. There’s also always a vegetarian choice on the menu. PieHole found a roasted kale with roasted squash soup on the menu one day, and a vegetarian cream of mushroom as well. You can grab a pint for $2.95 to bring back to the office for lunch, or a quart at $5.95 to take home for dinner.
Across the railroad tracks on Bridge Avenue, Chowda House is of course a go-to choice for its well-known Manhattan and New England clam chowders, but owner Mary Jennings and company also offer a landlubber soup every day and a new Rhode Island Fish Chowda that is just heavenly. Lighter than the other chowders, this one is full of flaky, fresh fish swimming in a rich and tasty broth. Eat in or call ahead to have your order ready for pick-up or delivery.
Sickles Market in Little Silver always has a wide array of flavorful soups to choose from to bring home in pint ($3.99) and quart ($6.99) sizes. The store also has varieties of hot soup prepared if you aren’t inclined to wait for your soup to heat up.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for chicken noodle, swing by Brennan’s Deli. on West River Road in Rumson. “We have chicken noodle soup on the menu every day,” says co-owner Caryn McCann. The cream of chicken with wild rice is popular, too. A small container of soup is $2.75, while the large is $3.75. The cream based soups run a little higher.