BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. -- January is National Soup Month, making it the perfect time to dip a spoon into a bowl of soothing soul-warming goodness. Lucky for Bergen County residents, there's no shortage of where to go for a cup of comfort.
Here's a few standouts. Feel free to add your own suggestions.
Matzo Ball Soup, Noah's Ark Kosher Deli & Restaurant, Teaneck: A great soup starts with great stock, explains Noah's Ark Executive Chef Richard Brace. The kosher deli not only adheres to that credo, but they make their soups from scratch "the old-fashioned way." Slurp It Up: 493 Cedar Ln., (201) 692-1200, www.noahsark.net/ .
Chicken Soup, Franco's Metro Restaurant, Bar & Pizza, Fort Lee: You might think Pasta Fagiole, Minestrone, or Italian Wedding Soup would do well at Franco's -- and it does -- but by far and away the most popular soup is chicken. General Manager Gene Bazzarelli said on a cold day the restaurant sells about three gallons. "We make our own stock," he said, "Everything is made from scratch." What also sets the chicken soup apart from others: the huge pieces of meat found in almost every spoonful. Slurp It Up: 1475 Bergen Blvd., (201) 461-6651, www.francosmetro.com/ .
Cream of Portobello or Potato Soup with Smoked Gouda and Bacon, Sage Restaurant, Fair Lawn: Chef/Owner Louis DiMauro said it's hard to say which soup is most popular - there are a lot: one "soup du jour" daily plus -- always -- French Onion . When pressed, he said the Cream of Portobello or the Potato Soup always get rave reviews. All soups are homemade. Slurp It Up: 17-15 Broadway, (201) 797-0500, www.sagefairlawn.com/ .
New England Clam Chowder, Flynn's Deli, Westwood: Expect either red or white chowder depending on the Friday (they alternate) at Flynn's. You'll also find lots of cream-based soups once the weather turns colder, i.e. Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Asparagus and Cream of Mushroom. Slurp It Up: 274 3rd Ave., (201) 666-4417, www.flynnsdeli.com/ .
Lemon Chicken Soup, Allendale Eats , Allendale: Folks rave about the homemade soups at this mother/son-owned eatery where Lemon Chicken Soup (like a "Greek Chicken Soup") is a perennial favorite. So is the old standby chicken noodle. "As soon as someone gets sick, they come and get some soup to go," said Co-Owner Denise Kimball. Also popular: The Corn and Crab Chowder, available every fourth Friday. All soups are homemade from scratch using fresh ingredients. Slurp It Up: 101 West Allendale Ave., (201) 825-0110, www.allendaleeats.com/ .