No, I'm not going to once again preach about the numerous medicinal qualities of Jameson or the demonstrated use of Guinness as preventive care. This cold and flu season, I'm finally listening to Mom when she says "eat lots a soup."
Unfortunately, I lack both the time and culinary prowess to open a can of Campbell's and cook it to a slow boil; I'm more of a scorch and stir chef myself. So lately I've been hitting The Soup Hut (201 Washington St., Hoboken) in an effort to fight off that dreaded first cold of the season.
Once known as The Ice Hut, its proprietors boldly acted on flimsy projections that the frozen dessert market might possibly see a bit of a decline from October to April. If the noticeable absence of that damned musical ice cream truck is any indication, their hunch was right!
But enough with the sarcastic patronization - this is legitimately some of the best soup I've ever tasted. The selection varies day to day, with two vegetable choices, two meat choices, and two seafood choices. And if you're REALLY lucky, one of the latter two choices ends up being the Chevy S-10 Pick-up of soup - a nice, hearty CHOWDER.
At the risk of soundin' like Bubba Blue (Forrest Gump's Army buddy), I'd like to rattle off a list of 'dem chowders for y'all. You've got your ol' standby in the New England Clam Chowder. You've got a nice, succulent "Lobstah Chowdah," for our friends from Hyannisport. You've got a scrumptious "Crab - say it, Frenchy - Choudare" (non-Simpsons fans are excused for not getting that reference).
But my absolute favorite has to be the Grilled Chicken Corn Chowder (I recommend getting at this soup before I do, because I'll buy the whole vat!!!) Pints of this flavorsome fare go for $5.50 and come complete with half a loaf of bread for during and a York Peppermint Patty for after. Not a bad lunch alternative for the price of a colon-clogging "extra value meal."
Though purveyors of soup have gotten a bad rap from the popular media, I assure you that there is nothing even remotely fascist about The Soup Hut. It's a nice, sanitary place with nice, sanitary people who would be happy to serve "soupforyou" (non-Seinfeld fans, same rules apply). In fact, they encourage return business with the "Soup Hut Kettle Card" - buy seven soups and the eighth one is free. I recently cashed mine in for Grilled Chicken Corn Chowder - my second bowl that day.
Don't get me wrong, folks, by no means am I claiming that man can live on soup alone. But do keep in mind that the chowders make for an excellent pairing with a nice pint of Guinness. By the way, did you know that Guinness is an excellent source of iron? Sorry, I felt I had to slip that in somewhere. Think of it as a public service announcement.
If you know how I can effectively waste $50 in the metro area, please write to:
"Hal Wastes His Wages"
c/o The Current
1400 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030
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Hal Wastes His Wages appears in this space every other week.