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Soup-er Douper: Warm Up With a Cup (or Bowl)

Soup means comfort, even when outside temperatures barely register as “sweater weather.” If you’re looking to slurp for sustenance, here’s what to get and where to go.

Gumbo, Treebeards, 315 Travis

Gumbo is a contentious subject. Do you add okra? Tomato? Filé? Let someone else do the work and order cafeteria-style at Treebeard’s. The type rotates depending on the day of the week, so depending on when the craving hits you’ll have your choice of duck, chicken and sausage, and seafood. Pro tip: the jalapeño cornbread makes a great partner.

Sopa de piedra, Xochi, 1777 Walker

Seafood soup heated with hot river rocks from the wood oven? At the Hugo Ortega restaurant Alison Cook named the best in the city? How could you say no?

Haig’s Chili, MKT Bar, 1001 Austin

It’s safe to say that Haig’s Chili at MKT Bar is not a bowl of Texas red—but that’s kind of the point. This chili, named for Haig Tcholakian, son of Phoenicia founders Arpi and Zohrab Tcholakian, and second-generation steward of the global grocery store—features ground chuck with onions, roasted peppers, fava beans and chickpeas topped with sharp white cheddar cheese, red radish, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil and scallion. Freshly made toasted pita chips complete the order.

Chicken posole, Local Foods, 420 Main

If chicken soup is balm for the soul, the chicken posole from Local Foods is equivalent to a great therapy session. The hominy-based Mexican stew made with green chilis and a hint of lime is topped with pumpkin seeds, and warms from the inside out.

Pho, The Pho Spot, 1010 Prairie

Whether it’s winter blues or a stuffy nose, pho’s savory beef broth is sure to cure what ails you. Head underground to Conservatory, Houston’s original food hall, and try the classic Dac Biet with beef meatballs, flank steak and brisket, or build your own bowl to suit your tastes.

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