In regards to the slurpiest of dishes, game-changing French chef Auguste Escoffier is commonly credited with saying, "Of all the items on the menu, soup is that which exacts the most delicate perfection and the strictest attention."
A good soup, treated in that manner, can be transportive and euphoria-inducing, beyond warming and comforting. A great soup, as you well know, can become an obsession.
Hence the popularity of Al Yeganeh, whose "Soup Nazi" was perhaps the most beloved and quoted Seinfeld character ever (at least before he sold out the "Soupman" name to franchisees). In that sitcom, the guy's so passionate about his soups that he'd rather berate you — ban you, even — than for one moment let you bumble around his operation and fail to show proper respect for his liquid lovin'.
We don't know of anyone locally who's so strident about his or her stocks and stews. Thankfully, our area chefs are cordial and accommodating enough to even share their delicious recipes with us, in this sixth annual Dish guide.
Here, you will not hear, "No soup for you!" Instead, you will learn how to: fuse hot and cold soups together for dramatic contrast; meld beer and cheese into bliss; prepare Colorado's staple green chili three ways; and make soups just as they're traditionally made in places ranging from Jamaica to Ethiopia. As much as a soup is a literal melting pot of ingredients, this recipe guide is a melting pot of cultures, techniques and flavors.
We're thankful for the work of Indy photographer Brienne Boortz, who took all the beautiful shots included with the recipes. But our biggest thanks go to the busy folks at this year's 24 participating restaurants. If you do choose to try their recipes at home, we urge you to check your work every now and then by dropping in and dipping a spoon into one of their bowls.
Through strict attention — whether yours or theirs — we hope you find that delicate perfection.