Was it only last week that Bloomington faced a couple days of Indian Summer? We arrived at a few days of unseasonably warmer weather despite the fact that the first frost of the year began to transform the Campus Gardens just a few weeks prior. It could be safe to assume that cooler autumn weather is now here to stay. Never a reason to fret, this is however! Because, dear friends of the garden and patrons of the local, may I remind you of one of the most comforting, soothing aspects of the cool weather dinner table?
Have you seen the good news about soup, sonny?
Ahh, isn’t that endearing (read: dated)? Still, thank you Campbells; your 1980s marketing team really had the right idea. Soup is good food.
Now, let us step into the ever-expanding scene of Bloomington Local Food, a wonderful place to frequent. Not only do we have one restaurant dedicated primarily to serving soup, we have two. Beyond that, restaurants and delis all over town are serving up recipes that transcend the renditions we had when we were younger. This is not the tomato soup or chicken noodle you used to know, folks. If anyone is interested in sampling some of these delicious seasonal soups or looking for more reason to go the Bloomington Farmers Market this week, there is a Soup Tasting next to the Farmers Market this Saturday, November 3rd at 10:30 a.m. If you are interested, you can find more information, including participating restaurants, here .
With the onset of cooler weather earlier this week, I decided to frequent one of these little soup dives. It was a pleasant experience to say the least. In fact, it was darn good.
Do you see what I did there?
Darn Good Soup has been serving soup and giving a new definition to the term “fast food” since it opened in the spring of 2011. On the square in the heart of the Bloomington downtown business district, the shop feels very unassuming and comfortable from the first step inside. As a soup shop should be, am I right? Some soup art on the walls, a chalkboard menu, and lines of steaming pots behind the counter, and there you have it: a simple, straightforward delivery.
I had actually been planning to stop by Darn Good Soup for nearly all of October. Some people check Twitter so they can know what their favorite celebrities are doing. Then there are others (I think, maybe), like myself, who check Twitter to see what @DarnGoodSoup is serving that day. From several days of actually practicing this habit, it is clear that each day, there are always at least ten available soups, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Descriptions of the daily soups are also available on the website.
The variety of the soups themselves is all but simple. I debated between Curry Cauliflower, Triple Roasted Eggplant, Sweet Potato Coconut, and Minestrone. Considering the ingredients of the other soups, one faces flavors that come from different regions of the globe. You can travel the world in a styrofoam bowl! Perhaps that is too corny to say? Could be, but I am saying it anyway!
All soups come in two sizes, 12 oz or 16 oz. and are served with bread. There is also the option for a side salad. Patrons have the option to take their soups to go or dine in. Even if you are not a fan of soup, the cooler weather can bring out the craving for a hot bowl of soup in anyone, and this shop is a nice stop for lunch.
This humble blogger dined in with a bowl of minestrone. I’ve not one complaint regarding the soup itself. Next time I go, however, I may just try bringing my own bowl. They serve their soup, whether you are dining in or on your way out, in styrofoam bowls, a detail of their no-fuss delivery that likely keeps what would otherwise be regular patrons at bay.
Now run along and get some hot, local soup in you, sonny!