There are a handful of eateries I wish I could patronize more often, but due to short operating hours or hard-to-reach locations, I am unable to. Soul Soup falls into the first category, only open from 11-6pm from Monday-Friday, which is convenient to those in close proximity to the core, but becomes a destination spot otherwise.
As a result, I’ve only been to Soul Soup a few times, even though I have enjoyed my past experiences there. As the name suggests, the restaurant primarily serves soup (although they were also offering one rice bowl alternative during my last visit). With numerous varieties on endless rotation, the magnetic menu board above the order counter changes daily, displaying one type each of vegetarian, fish and meat soups. A small 8 oz. serving is $4.75, a medium 16 oz. is $7 and a 32 oz. sells for $11. Each bowl comes with a fresh roll. For those looking for a post-work meal, Soul Soup also sells containers of frozen soup, as well as Culina’s TV dinners.
The interior is chic, brown neutrals accented by pops of pink. I particularly love the light fixtures fashioned out of ladles.
Between the day’s mulligatawny with apple and pistachios, tomato and shrimp with tarragon and Asian ginger braised pork with rice noodles, the latter won my vote. And though I did feel somewhat hungry that day, I decided to order the small, thinking that the bread would help fill me up. I asked for my order to stay, and settled in on one of the high tables to the side of the counter (the table was even equipped with a built-in purse hook!). Three other stools along the narrow divider that doubled as a table were still up for grabs, but nearly all customers who walked in took their meals to go.
My soup was delivered to me almost instantly, on a retro-themed tray accompanied by the aforementioned roll. The plastic cutlery had been neatly tied up, with a small fruit candy tucked inside – a nice touch. The soup itself was lovely – creative to start with (not your usual beef-and-pasta variety), it was clearly a labour of love. The carrots were tender and soft, and the broth had a full flavour to it, something only attained from lengthy low and slow simmering. Later in the afternoon, I did regret ordering the small, however – I should have upgraded.
I did have a chance to ask the owner whether or not Soul Soup plans to join Twitter (I’ve mentioned in the past that they are the ideal restaurant to do so – a tweet before lunch about their 3 soups du jour). She said I was the “eighth person” to ask them that question recently, but because they are only a two-person operation, she doesn’t have the time to update their status. She said their phone line recording system was working just fine as a way to provide information to customers. I don’t think the “time” excuse is valid, but with Mack’s help, was able to locate an unofficial Soul Soup account which seems to do a pretty good job of listing the day’s soups.
If you’re looking for a fast but homemade lunch downtown outside of the food court recesses, I’d highly recommend giving Soul Soup a try.
140-10020 101A Avenue