soup weather is upon us


It doesn’t happen all that often here in SoCal, but when the temperature dips and the rain clouds make an appearance, there is nothing better than a great bowl of soup. It warms your insides and gives you the culinary version of a big hug. We take soup very seriously at Urban Plates. It is a side sometimes, but other times it is the entire meal. If a soup isn’t outstanding, you don’t remember it. We want our soup to be what comes to mind when you see a wet shine on the street or rain on the window.

Our Corporate Chef, Joe Noonan, is our Soup Hero. He is responsible for the new items on our rotating menu, and he loves making soups. He is from the Northeast originally, he is a CIA graduate and cut his teeth at the Boston Four Seasons and went on from there. Stints at Aviara and abroad with Four Seasons before The Grand Del Mar, then most recently at Rancho Valencia. Any Chef is a product of the kitchens they work in. Chef Joe’s talent is result of decades of hard work in very good kitchens, he is gifted and driven and you will feel his talent when you taste the soups. We just began running his New England Clam Chowder and it is perfect timing. If you have a chill in your bones that you can’t shake, try his awesome Chowdah…so good. Thick and rich in all the right ways, there is some heft to it. Plenty of seafood and potato give it a long finish and it pairs very well with a hoppy pint of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. If you are at the Crossroads in Irvine, the hidden secret is the Cismontane Citizen, it is very similar to the San Franciscan steam beers and is a perfect pairing with chowder. Our soups rotate all the time and we love keeping things interesting for ourselves and our guests. You can always tell by what soups are running if a restaurant takes seasonality to heart.

We are running four of his soup creations right now and none will disappoint. I already mentioned the Chowdah, of course. We also have the smooth, velvety, wintry goodness that we call our Butternut Squash soup. You could pay four times as much at a white table cloth restaurant and not get this quality. It comes with a garnish of cinnamon crema, or you can leave that off and enjoy it as a great vegan option. Our Creamy Tomato is always a crowd pleaser, it is best friends with our grilled fresh focaccia. The combination is perfect when you do some dipping. We are also offering our Chicken Tomatillo, a southwestern revolt to run of the mill chicken soup. Slightly piquant, it will use its spice to break the chill without being heavy. Lot’s of veggies and chicken in a broth base. We make sure you have choices at Urban Plates. You can be slightly decadent or healthy depending how you feel, but always with quality ingredients and great recipes made from scratch. There will be a new one soon, Chef Joe is banging out the next recipe now, the working menu title is “Chicken and Heavy Vegetable” but it might end up with a different name so don’t quote me. We will let you know when it’s ready and we go live.

Thanks for reading and supporting Urban Plates. We know we could cook all day and if there isn’t anyone to eat it, it will not work out. We exist because you like what we do. That makes us proud and makes us want to do more. We will always strive to get you more better ingredients for the price. We want to be less expensive than you making the same thing at home. How are we doing?