1 Apple’s Bakery
Wild Mushroom and Rice
Apple’s Bakery offers three different daily soups, all made from scratch. Most of the recipes were stirred to life by owner Mary Ardapple, who considers soup “an exercise of flavor exploration.” She said she finds it easy to experiment with different flavor combinations through her bowled creations.
Apple’s also offers a Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP) soup every day on their lunch menu. These soups must meet certain guidelines to be considered a CHIP recipe, one of which being that they cannot contain any animal product, also making them vegan-friendly. The wild mushroom and rice soup is part of the CHIP program. This creamy soup is teeming with chunks of mushroom and is infused with strong herb flavors. The roll included with the soup makes a perfect dipper into the hearty broth that can serve as a meal. Apple’s Bakery is located at 8412 N. Knoxville Ave.
2 Jim’s Steakhouse
Jim’s Steakhouse, located at 110 SW Jefferson Ave., isn’t just a fabulous place to get one of the best steaks in town; it’s also the spot for one of the best soups. The warm atmosphere of Jim’s, with its dim lighting and rich décor, makes it a great place to treat yourself to a delicious soup, whether as your meal or to hold you over while you wait for a New York strip.
Mum’s the word on ingredients to the restaurant’s very own original recipe for She-Crab soup. However, we were able to squeeze out that they use the freshest, finest ingredients including Alaskan King crab and “a lot of love.” Rich, creamy and buttery with big chunks of crab and a pat of butter on top, this soup is the epitome of savory and delectable.
Talk about specializing in comfort food! Panache knows how to make people happy through food—offering dishes such as meatloaf, casseroles and quiches—food that makes almost anyone feel at home. When it comes to soup, Panache, located at 4203 N. Sheridan Road, tries to have a strictly vegetable or vegan choice on the menu every day. Most of their soups are homemade with the exception of a few.
The vegetable jambalaya is one of Panache’s homemade soups, based off of a recipe that chef Shawna Hopkins has perfected over the years. The jambalaya is a mixture of finely processed celery, tomato, onions and garlic, crumbled Boca burgers, and a blend of cayenne pepper and Chipotle Tabasco sauce in a homemade vegetable broth. Not only is this recipe perfect for vegans, but it is also CHIPapproved so anyone can indulge in this spicy soup and still feel good about it.
4 The Oyster Bar
The Oyster Bar, located at 2601 Main in East Peoria, has been open for eight years and the French onion soup has been gracing the menu for five years. “It’s a testament to how good it is that it’s been here so long,” Manager Don Brinker said, since the Oyster Bar changes its menu daily in order to experiment and easily swap out choices when a dish isn’t successful.
Carmelized onions and bread crusted with Swiss cheese, toasted in the salamander, pay homage to the soup at the top of the bowl. The bread used is the Oyster Bar’s own French bread baked at the restaurant. However, this soup isn’t for the faint of appetite, as it comes in the “Big Bowl” and is the most popular soup entrée. The Oyster Bar also serves gumbo and chowder from Jonah’s Seafood House. a&s