Cheap Eats: Soup

Here's our list of great soup places around the state.


Selling from a takeout window since 1997, Eric and Eugene Wade are soup celebrities (as is their mom, who started the business and whose recipes they use). Witness the lines that snake around the block for winter warmers like turkey chili or cream of chicken ($4.50-$5.50 per pint). Six soups are offered every day. Lines start to form around 10 am. The most popular choices often sell out by 11; by 3 pm the Wades are often soupless. 184 Elizabeth Ave, 973-623-7793

Until 2009, this storefront was an outlet of the Original Soupman (think Seinfeld: “No soup for you!”). Then Lisa and Scott Ruddy got out of their franchise agreement, and won the hearts of lobster bisque lovers by putting four pounds of lobster meat in every 128 ounces of bisque ($5.99, 8 ozs; $8.99, 12 ozs; $10.99, 16 ozs). The bisque is made daily; usually five other varieties are too, starting at $3.99. 30 Palmer Square East, 609-497-0008,

STOCKPOT (Montclair)
Co-owners Robert Kelly and Robert Penta have been serving wholesome nourishment here for 30 years. Each day’s two or three varieties (small, $3.75; large, $4.65; takeout $4.65 a pint, $8.25 a quart) are filling, flavorful and not over-salted. Mulligatawny, with its apple and curry flavors, makes a perfect cold day pick-me-up. 20 Church St., 973-744-5503,

Never mind the name: In a downtown alley, Gary Sable, a.k.a. the Soupmeister, holds court, serving three to five hearties a day ($3.50-$8.25, 12-32 ozs). He buys high-quality ingredients (or grows them in his backyard) and likes to experiment—one such, spicy sausage, is a best-seller. As to soup season, he says, “When people stop wearing white, they start eating soup.” 30 Monmouth St, 732-219-6999,

Soups at this ultra-crunchy natural food store (which opened on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day) are so delicious you might not notice they’re vegetarian, even vegan. Popular winter flavors include leek, potato and fennel; butternut squash with fresh sage; and terrific lentil and Swiss chard. Like the soups, all sandwiches and entrées are organic. 360 Nassau St, 609-924-7421,—PT

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