January is National Soup Month and Wichita, Kansas, has no shortage of restaurants ladling cups of comfort and warmth this winter. Here are five soups made from scratch at Wichita restaurants that could easily become your favorite.
Cream of mushroom at Bella Luna Café
Bella Luna’s hummus is so popular that it’s difficult for owner and chef Matteo Taha to successfully introduce other appetizers on the menu at his Bella Luna Café Northeast and Bella Luna Café West. The Cream of Mushroom soup is so out-of-this-world rich and delicious that it makes the cut. In fact, two other soups are always on the menu of this favorite Wichita restaurant: lentil soup and a spicy chicken gumbo soup.
Green chili at Old Mill Tasty Shop
If it’s comfort you’re after, it’s hard to pass up a classic bowl of tomato bisque alongside a grilled cheese at this downtown institution that opened in 1932. But the house specialty at Old Mill Tasty Shop is co-owner Mary Wright’s tasty green chili, topped with cheese and served with a flour tortilla. Everything is made fresh daily and this time of year there’s always a meat soup, a vegetarian soup and regular chili on the menu, too.
Miso soup at Hana Café
Fans of this light broth mixed with soybean paste will send you to Hana Café in Wichita’s Old Town Square for an authentic and tasty cup of miso soup. This long-time Japanese restaurant is a Wichita favorite for sushi and traditional Asian dishes.
Chicken vermicelli at Café Bel Ami
Downtown’s Café Bel Ami rotates its soups daily and regular diners here will tell you every variety is consistently tasty, from the chicken vermicelli to the cream of mushroom or cream of asparagus. The long-established French Mediterranean restaurant makes each soup from scratch. The best part: if you’re craving a specific soup from their menu, just call ahead and the owners will work with you to feature the soup soon so you can satisfy that hunger.
Soup flight at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen
If the word soup is in the restaurant name, it’s kind of a no-brainer to make this list, right? Well, Tanya’s Soup Kitchen actually earned its way onto this list by stirring up a loyal customer base that plans their week around the unique daily soup specials at this Douglas Design District favorite. Their small batch soups change daily and rotate seasonally based on availability of local ingredients. Vegans, vegetarians and carnivores can all find something they’ll like here and if you can’t decide, opt for a flight of soups – a sampling of the four daily selections. The menu board on a recent day included: tomato curry with jasmine rice, New Mexico bacon shrimp chowder, cheddar ale soup topped with crushed pretzels and poor man's vegetable stew.
From Jan. 20-29, Wichita Restaurant Week will highlight the diversity of cuisine in Wichita by inviting diners to explore new restaurants or new dishes at eateries across the city. At least eight of the 32 participating restaurants are offering soup options on their prix fixe Wichita Restaurant Week menus: AVI Seabar & Chophouse, Cafe Bel Ami, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, LongHorn Steakhouse East & West, Molino’s Mexican Cuisine Downtown & East and Public at the Brickyard. For more information about Restaurant Week, read our blog post on the 2017 event.