The Pot Thickens

As we settle into soup season, here are three local specimens our spoons return to again and again.

➸ Clouds spread thickly over the stalls of the Tosa Farmers Market. A wicked autumn wind threatens to send a shopper sprinting back to her car, that is, until… what is that smell? Pushing through a throng of thick-sweater-clad Tosans, the shopper commandeers a few sample plastic cups of mushroom barley soup from the Wisconsin Soup Company’s stall. Ohhh. A sweater for the stomach. And then: Discovery is made of the local company’s Gorgonzola-crab bisque. Creamy and rich, the crustacean flavor in symmetry with the delicate pungency of the cheese. Quarts retail for $12-$16 at the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers Market (Nov. 7-April 9). Also available in 12-ounce containers at Metcalfe’s Market.

➸ Indian restaurants do an amazing thing with lentil soup. They add spices like cumin, turmeric and cardamom to make a flavor wunderkind. It’s dal heaven, and you can visit anytime you want at Bollywood Grill. $3.95/cup. 1038 N. Jackson St., 414-271-8200.

➸ Mexican posole is made with hominy (dried maize), which has a starchy, firm texture that works superbly with chunks of pork shoulder and the fiery red broth. El Canaveral serves a version that patrons can season to their particular tastes, with fresh onions, dried chiles, lemon juice, chopped radish and lettuce. To add a bit of crunch to the experience, this quantum quart comes with tostadas. $9.95. 2501 W. Greenfield Ave., 414-671-7118.

‘The Pot Thickens’ appears in the November 2015 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.