March is (still) the season for hot liquid food. Here are five recommendations for bullshit-free, hearty, veggie-based, energy packed soup.
The tiny New Zealander-run espresso bar and lunch café does soup right: robust veggie or meat, no gimmicky ingredients or overpowering flavours. Hearty, never creamy. Chef Paul’s classic: roasted veggie and beef stew, lentil tomato with a tangy celery edge, or sweet potato with chili, ginger and a dash of coconut milk. Comes with bread and butter. Add a (homemade) puff-pastry meat pie to round out a body-warming pub-grub lunch!
Antipodes, Fehrbelliner Str. 5, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Senefelderplatz, Tue-Fri 8-17:00, Sat-Sun 9-17:00, soup €3.80
The designer neo-Brit eatery on Mehringdamm does generously portioned soups, with one or two on the menu every week. Flavours depend on what is in season or the cook’s mood. Most are meatless, like the popular celeriac-ginger, the tomato-red pepper or the carrot-orange. They come with two slices of white bread and East London’s homemade herbed butter.
East London, Mehringdamm 33, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Mehringdamm, Daily 10-23:00, large soup €5 (lunch special Mon-Fri 12-15:00: sandwich + small soup/salad/fries €4.90)
A haven of delicious salads, tasty lunch bagels and great coffee, Goodies in Friedrichshain also makes a wicked soup: the rotating selection of 25 recipes is all organic and vegetarian – with usually at least one vegan option. Typical soups are the lentil-coconut milk, carrot-goat cheese, beetroot-coconut and chili con tofu.
Goodies, Warschauer Str. 69, Friedrichshain, U-Bhf Frankfurter Tor, Mon-Fri 7-20:00, Sat-Sun 9-20:00, soups €3.90
Well situated in the bustle of Kreuzberg’s central square, the pint-sized Gerüchteküche (literally “rumour kitchen”, i.e. “rumour mill”) is the neighbourhood’s go-to locale for cheap, house-made potage. Whether you’re craving beef goulash, Thai peanut-leek or veggie chilli with tortilla chips and a gobbet of sour cream, there are always a few varieties – at least one veggie – simmering in giant pots on the open kitchen stove.
Gerüchteküche, Oranienstr. 16, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof, Mon-Sat 10-20, soups €3.80-4.50
The homey little Mitte café with retro charm is run by a lady who cooks up delicious south German Maultaschen, Flammkuchen and a mean homemade soup of the day: the borscht and the leek & potato are just perfect. The carrot-sweet-potato is served with jalapeño and coriander, and the red lentil with a dash of rucola, a dollop of yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon. Scrumptious and wholesome.
Cafe Ribo, Ackerstr. 157, Mitte, Mon-Fri 9-21, Sat 10-21, soups €3.50-4.50