Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Soup Box

Well it's December, and it's officially cold. You know what that means... SOUP! Now I've actually been known to slurp down a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup at any time of the year (including 95 degree July afternoons), but for the normal person who enjoys soup with cold weather I've got a place for you. Last week I had a lunch meeting with my friends Dave and Naomi, and we needed a place relatively near school. Right away I suggested The Soup Box.

The Soup Box is a pretty simple setup of one small room with minimal seating and a counter lined with soup pots. We got there at noon and got our soups rather quickly. By 12:15 the line was pretty long. Like I said they've got minimal seating, but we got there before the rush and were good to go (most people ended up taking their soups to go).

Even though the servers are all nice people, I couldn't help but think about the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld (we were in a relatively organized line, you say your soup, they give it to you, and you shift down to pay). When the guy behind me said that he didn't get any bread I almost spilled my soup while laughing. Unlike the episode, they gave him his bread.

Each day they have 12 fresh made soups that range in price from $4 to $9 depending on what size and soup you get, and whether or not you get a bread bowl. You can get a salad and drink added for $2.99. I think it's a pretty average deal monetarily because soup is cheap to make. For the most part though you can get a pretty decent amount of soup for $5. If you don't get the bread bowl the soup comes with a pretty decent hunk of bread too.

It should also be noted that The Soup Box is vegetarian and vegan friendly. They even have vegetarian takes on normal soups and chili that are not seen most places.

One last logistical point... You can mix the soups. Maybe if I was a regular and had some creative ideas I'd go for this, but definitely not on a first try.

The Food
Our orders were pretty simple. Naomi got the Broccoli Cheddar, Dave got the Tomato Basil, and I got the Fresh Vegetable. The Broccoli Cheddar seemed to be of a good consistency, nothing like that thick goo that you get most places. There also seemed to be nice large chunks of broccoli. The Tomato Basil soup was hot, creamy, and delicious. It would have gone perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich. The Fresh Vegetable soup was fully loaded with all different kinds of veggies and what I believe was some barley. In general a huge positive to all of these soups was that they weren't overly salty. I think that's the downfall of most soups I order in restaurants and was happy this was not the case.

The Tomato Basil Soup

The Broccoli Cheddar Soup

 The Fresh Vegetable Soup

The Soup Box cranks out a variety of soups that change daily. Everything is made fresh, and there's no skimping on key ingredients. It's a little hustle bustle inside, but if you beat the lunch crowd by just a few minutes it'll pay off big time. The flavors are all pretty solid, and I'll definitely be back to try some of their other varieties throughout the winter. I'm giving The Soup Box 3.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Soup Box on Urbanspoon


  1. One of the things I was most happy about when I moved back to Chicago was that the Soup Box was still on Broadway. Always have loved the place. Sad I don't live closer to it these days! Also sad that franchising doesn't seem to have worked out for them. (They've been advertising about franchise opps forever!)

    So hey--I'm about to switch to (The self-hosted version.) Your commenting doesn't allow people to comment who just want to plug in their name and URL. Right now, I'm commenting via Typepad, but that will end shortly! Just wanted to mention that...

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