5 most heavenly Fort Collins soups to slurp on

Scott Powell

Nothing satisfies that “I want to eat, but I’m not actually hungry” feeling quite like a nice piping hot bowl of soup. This sodium deluge is perhaps one of the most versatile foods in the world, and it’s the perfect pick-me-up on a cold mid-winter day. But with so many choices out there, it can be a challenge to find which bubbling bowl of bliss is the right choice for you.

If you’re looking for a nice cup of broth to help soothe your school-burdened stomach, soul and spirit this winter, here are some good spots around Fort Collins to check out.

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Most photogenic: Lemongrass seafood noodle soup (Young’s Cafe)

Don’t let the title mislead you — Young’s seafood noodle soup offers far more to its slurper than looks alone (it’s the full package — hot and good-looking with a great personality to match). However, it’s the aesthetics of this Vietnamese soup that really sets it apart.

The red broth swirling with noodles, dotted with mushrooms and sprinkled with shrimp peeking their little boiled heads over the surface, all in a sleek white bowl with a smooth and curvy soup spoon dangling off its side, is a sight to behold.

Ladies, you better lock up your man before introducing him to this spicy number! But I digress. The soup itself is also quite good. It’s a nice diversion from the familiar, standard, subtler flavor of pho. The lemongrass broth, in tandem with the spiciness and tanginess of the tomato base, gives the dish an unexpected zest that warms the tummy whilst exciting the eyes.

Ladies, you better lock up your man before introducing him to this spicy number!”

Heartiest: Hungarian mushroom soup (Canino’s)

There’s something magical about the mushrooms in Canino’s Hungarian mushroom soup. They’re so magical, in fact, it almost makes you wonder whether or not they’re actually legal to consume, and that isn’t a tip by the way. As far as I know, everything at this establishment is on the up and up.

The mushrooms are cooked to perfection: soft enough that their chewiness carries through the entire bite but still firm enough that they don’t simply crumble into a million pieces the moment they pass the gums.

The cream base is also exquisite. This is the kind of soup that seems to seep into every crevice of your body when consumed. It doesn’t just slide down your gullet and lodge in your stomach, creating a lake of saltwater that you can feel sloshing around in your gut for hours after consumption. Instead, this thick, rich soup is a filling meal in and of itself — one that satisfies your empty belly as much as it does your taste buds.

Most energizing: Lentil soup (Petra Grill)

So you’re trying to be healthier, and you’re looking for a soup that will provide you with the protein, fiber, amino acids and flavonoids that our bodies need in order to stay healthy and energized and all those other wonderful qualities that get on everyone’s nerves.

OK, fine. Be that way. Lucky for fit-and-flexible you, even though most of life’s highly-processed, extra-fattening, sugar-blasted blessings may be off limits, you can still satisfy your savory tooth with this nutrient dense lentil soup from Petra Grill.

If you’re the kind of regular, donut-guzzling Joe for whom a “powerful punch of protein, iron and folate” usually indicates a dish only slightly tastier than drywall, fear not! In addition to its dry beige health benefits, the soup is also bursting with spice, life and plenty of flavor.

Packing a powerful punch of protein, iron and folate, this hearty and healthful spoon-filler is a delicious and nutritious energy boost on a blustery day.

And if you’re the kind of regular, donut-guzzling Joe for whom a “powerful punch of protein, iron and folate” usually indicates a dish only slightly tastier than drywall, fear not! In addition to its dry beige health benefits, the soup is also bursting with spice, life and plenty of flavor.

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Classiest: French onion soup (The Still Whiskey Steaks)

As we all know, James Bond doesn’t eat soup because he’s too heavily armed with wirey electronic gadgets that would malfunction if they were to accidentally be splashed with beef broth. However, if 007 did eat soup, it would most certainly be French onion soup from The Still Whiskey Steaks.

This dish is oozing with cool as much as it is with the stringy Gruyère cheese melted on its surface. And while the textures may be simple, a basic brown broth with soft and stringy caramelized onions wiggling about in it, it compensates for its unassuming base with deep, brooding flavors.

Forget cigars and crystal glasses of scotch — nothing says “Look how miserable but also interesting I am” louder or clearer than a bowl full of this smooth and cheesy soup.

G.O.A.T: Gumbo (Lucile’s Creole Cafe)

As with lions among the beasts of the earth, so too does gumbo reign supreme as the ultimate ruler among soups. It’s got sausage, chicken, shrimp, peppers, tomatoes, onions, paprika and cayenne, all tacked together by a slimy but satisfying okra base.

Everything is in a big, black, bubbling kettle, eventually poured into a bowl. It’s glorious. And no cafe is able to tame or compose this overhaul of flavors and textures better than Lucile’s.

The spicy brown stew delivers all the wonderful flavor of this Cajun treasure without the kind of Indiana Jones face-melting heat that is typical of some other recipes. It’s the soup to end all soups: one that can be enjoyed on a hot Louisiana day as much as a cold Colorado night and a sure cure for any start-of-semester blues.

Scotty Powell can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @scottysseus