If there’s one dish that dominates BKR’s lunch and dining thoughts, it’s wonderful, warming, hearty, healthy, flavour-packed, fabulous soup.
As a little addition to our reviews, here’s a summary of the best soups he’s sampled on his travels. This will be regularly updated, as new and intriguing soupy soups are consumed.
In cases where he’s sampled more than one soup in a given location (like with the excellent Union of Genius, Hula, Domenico’s etc), his favourite soup is listed.
Al Dente – Cappelletti in Brodo
A brilliant dish, packed with heaps of flavour, delivering a hugely satisfying effect. An inspired choice for their festive menu.
The Bakehouse – Creamy sweetcorn
A wonderfully nourishing soup, beautifully seasoned, and with a perfect velvet texture.
The Butterfly & the Pig – Cream of Chicken and Leek
Beautiful soft chunks of chicken set in a richly creamy soup made this one of the standout dishes of 2012.
Castle Terrace – Broccoli and Blue Cheese
A gem of a dish, as you would expect from our most recent Michelin star recipient. Knockout flavours perfectly balanced to achieve maximum satisfaction.
Club Sandwich – Potato and Double Gloucester
Beautifully judged potato soup with wonderful explosions of flavour from the cheese.
Edinburgh Larder – Ham, Broccoli and Watercress
A wonderful combination of flavours, showcasing excellent local produce. The Edinburgh Larder is a magnificent place and their soup is gorgeous.
Elephant Juice Soup Company – Asparagus
Hearty, chunky, packed with flavour and charm, this really was an excellent soup. Elephant Juice, where “one feeds two”, is a brilliant idea, and a purveyor of very fine soups.
Field – Apple and celeriac
The finest soup of 2013, so far, this creamy and well-balanced blend of apple and celeriac, topped with walnuts, was simple and elegant, just like the restaurant in which it was served.
Lezzetli – Cream of Spinach
Deeply green, packed with Popeye goodness, and beautifully seasoned, this soup was an absolute winner.
Mark Greenaway at No 12 Picardy Place – Cullen skink
An elegant deconstruction, as beautiful as it was tasty.
New Town Deli – Lentil, sweet potato, and cardamom
Lovely notes of aromatic spice raised this plain looking soup to another level. Lovely consistency and beautiful flavour.
Porto & Fi – Sweetcorn, coconut and chilli
A perfect winter sunshine soup. Warming, with beautifully judged spicing. Really high quality stuff.
Purslane – Celeriac
Beautifully seasoned and crammed with flavour, this was a wonderful bowl of autumnal majesty.
Rafael’s – Potato, asparagus and dill
A wonderful combination of flavours in this velvety soup made it a complete joy.
Stag Espresso – Kashmiri chicken
An aromatic delight, full of wonderfully balanced flavour.
Union of Genius – “Big Green”
Full of green vegetable goodness, with lovely citrus notes, this was a fantastic, reviving soup, from Edinburgh’s premier soup cafe.
Wedgwood – Pork fillet and black pudding in pea and ham soup
The soup was a sweet and velvety dream-like substance, perfectly uniting the meaty elements of this elegant starter.
Whiski Rooms – Cauliflower
Spectacularly good. Perfect, velvety texture and bursting with flavour. Magnificent!
Yellow Bench – Borscht
An absolutely outstanding soup, beautifully seasoned, with a wonderful balance of flavours.
Angels with Bagpipes – Cauliflower veloute
Wonderfully creamy cauliflower delight.
Annie & Belle – Leek and Potato
Hearty goodness, with lovely chunky vegetables. A perfect winter warmer.
The Antiquary – White Onion
Intensely oniony, with well judged sweetness, this was a really well-executed bowl of quality soup.
Appetite Direct – Carrot and parsnip
A well judged blend of sweet and savoury made this an enjoyable soup.
Aroma Coffee Bar – Yellow split pea
A wonderfully velvety textured soup, with oodles of flavour.
Auchingarrich – Mushroom
Lovely and creamy, this was packed with nutty mushroom goodness.
The Baked Potato Shop – Bombay Potato
Chunky potato goodness, with warming spices, beautifully balanced, in a bowl of soup guaranteed to wake up your system and fuel it perfectly for the afternoon ahead.
Bar Soba – Pulled pork ramen noodle broth
A flavour packed broth, with lovely pulled pork and good chunky vegetables
Barolo Grill – Minestrone
With a beautiful texture bringing together soft and chunky vegetables, this was a really enjoyable bowlful.
Beetlejuice – Minted pea
Straightforwardly very good soup.
B’est – Broccoli, cauliflower and blue cheese
Excellent depth of flavour made this a really satisfying soup.
Bijou Bistro – Mushroom and garlic
Packed with mushrooms, and with a well-judged garlic creaminess, this was a very pleasing soup.
Bistro du Festivale – Lentil and bacon
A thick lentil soup topped with a generous amount of cripsy bacon, providing wonderfully filling, flavour-laden goodness.
Bite Me – Lentil and red pepper
High quality, flavour-packed goodness.
Bites – Indian Potato and Spinach
Lightly aromatic and packed with potatoes, this was a generously hearty soup.
Blackcherry Cafe – Leek and potato
Lovely and creamy, with good chunkiness, this was a highly enjoyable soup.
Bobby’s Sandwich Bar – Lentil
Just plain good lentil soup. Thickly satisfying and bursting with flavour.
Bon Vivant – Leek and Potato
Light, but flavour-packed, this was a sumptuous, summery rendering of one of the more popular soups served in Edinburgh dining spots.
The Bonham – Spiced Parsnip
A satisfyingly clean taste and texture. Soup at The Bonham is of consistently very good quality.
The Blue Moon Cafe – Tomato, Stilton and Spinach
Rich, dark with profoundly deep flavour.
Blue Parrot – Bean
Flavour packed, with a good backbone of chilli heat, this was a really satisfying bowl of bean goodness.
Butternut Squash – Chicken and sweetcorn
Fresh, light and full of flavour, this soup was quite tremendous!
Cafe 9 – Cream of mushroom
Richly flavourful, with a lovely, creamy broth.
Cafe Casablanca – Harira
A really good example of this Moroccan classic.
Café Domenico’s – Pea and Prosciutto
Sweetness of pea, saltiness of parma ham, a great combination, extremely well-executed by the master chefs at Domenico’s.
Le Café Gourmand – Chicken noodle
Good chunks of veg and shreds of chicken made this flavour-packed soup very enjoyable.
Café Lucia – Cream of mushroom
Light and expertly judged, this was a highly enjoyable bowlful.
Café Marlayne – Lentil and ham hock
Lovely depth of flavour to this hearty soup.
Castello Coffee – Leek & potato
Lovingly homemade and completely triumphant, this was an excellent soup.
China Town – Seafood
Very well judged, with good chunks of seafood goodness.
City Patio – Veggie lentil
Wholesome, rustic and totally satisfying.
CJ’s Takeaway – Spicy sweet potato
A lovely, thick texture, packed with warmly spiced flavour.
Clock Cafe – Leek and potato
A beautifully rustic rendering of this soupy favourite.
Corner Grill – Black Isle potato
A simple, creamy soup, which allowed the quality of the potatoes to shine through.
Crolla’s – Red pepper and tomato
An absolutely fantastic soup, from unassuming soup masters.
Crombie’s – Vegetable
A velvety and warmly spiced soup. Delightful.
Ecco Vino – Leek and potato
A very herby rendering of this popular soup. Very enjoyable.
Elbow – Spicy red pepper and tomato
A beautifully presented soup, full of warmly spiced charm.
Elm Rose – Lentil and bacon
Very moreish and packed with flavour.
Fair Trade Coffee Shop – Vegetable
A deeply nourishing broth, full of restorative barley goodness.
Fishers in the City – Spinach, wild garlic and nettle
Fresh, smooth and delightfully light.
The Fountain – Celeriac, sweet potato and ginger
Rustic and warming, with a herb oil topping, this was a really enjoyable soup.
Fredericks Coffee House – Tomato and lentil
Full of flavour and beautifully textured, this soup was a complete joy.
French Fancies – Leek and potato
A very creamy version of this popular classic. Gorgeous.
Gaia – Cauliflower
Simple and straightforward, this was a flavour-packed soup.
Galvin Brasserie de Luxe – Parsnip veloute with spiced apple
Beautifully prepared and highly elegant.
La Garrigue – Onion
The best French onion soup in the city, with lovely notes of juniper to offset the sweetness.
The Gateway – Broccoli and mushroom
A lovely, warming, richly savoury soup.
Grill 48 – Leek and potato
Hearty and flavour-packed.
Hernandez & Co – Chorizo, bean, and Spanish black pudding
A wondrous Spanish delight of a soup, from a great little place.
Hula Juice Bar – Haggis, neep and tattie
Great fun and smashing quality from the Hula maestros.
Italia Nostra – Tortellini in brodo
A lovely version of this Italian favourite.
Just the Ticket – Parsnip
Thick and full of flavour, this was a perfect winter warmer.
Karen’s Unicorn – Hot and sour
A richly meaty broth, full of shredded goodness.
Khublai Khan – Mushroom
A lovely mushroom soup, full of excellent nutty flavour.
King’s Wark – Seafood chowder
A beautifully delicate soup, from the Chinese seafood experts at Kweilin.
Kweilin – Fish with vermicelli and egg white
A first-rate chowder, with generous amounts of seafood, in a lovely creamy broth.
Lands Foods – Potato, butterbean and tarragon
A beautifully balanced soup, full of hearty flavour. Warming and delightful.
Lettuce Eat – Chicken chowder
Outstandingly tasty soup, full of replenishing delight.
Lime – Chicken broth
Full of shredded chicken and leek, this was a complete soupy joy.
The Little Inn – Tomato & basil
One of the best tomato soups I’ve tried.
Little Vietnam – Mixed meat pho
An epic bowl of restorative Vietnamese freshness.
M1 Sandwich Shop & Deli – Roasted vegetable
Chunky to the point of almost being a stew, this was a great winter warmer, full of heartening flavour.
Le Marche Francais – Highland vegetable
A truly amazing depth of flavour made this a sumptuous soup.
Meadowood Cafe – Combo soup dumpling
A light broth holding some of the highest quality dumplings that this city offers.
The Melville – Carrot and coriander, with caramelized orange
A sophisticated soup, with an elegant orange centrepiece, around which a pleasing broth was poured.
Miso & Sushi – Miso
Beautifully judged, spiritually nourishing stuff.
Nawroz – Tomato, Lentil and Mint
Unusual and complex, this was deep and warming, yet still somehow light and refreshing. Really skillful.
New York Steam Packet – Sweet potato and coconut
Lovely, aromatic and deeply satisfying.
Nira Caledonia – Prawn bisque
A sophisticated soup, packed with amazing depth of flavour.
Ondine – Smoked Haddock Chowder
Rich, smokey flavour, with accurately diced pieces of potato and fish, beautifully served directly from the tureen.
La P’tite Folie – Cream of parsnip
Beautifully presented and full of flavour.
The Pantry – Caramelized swede
A warming seasonal favourite.
Papoli – Lamb shorba
A lovely, meaty soup, full of Mediterranean goodness.
Picnic Basket – Creamy mushroom
Richly satisfying lunchtime mushroom goodness.
Pink Olive – Beetroot and Parsnip
A winning combination, delivering a treat for the eyes and the palette.
Pinocchio – Chickpea
Warmly spiced, made with love, and deeply satisfying.
Pulcinella – Minestrone
Put simply, the finest minestrone that we’ve sampled in Edinburgh, to date.
Purslane – Leek and Potato
Beautiful blended texture, with hidden intrigue in the form of creamed leeks and a quail egg. Smart and stylish.
Qua – Minestrone
A satisfyingly chunky minestrone.
Razzo Coffee – Lentil
Supplied by the expert soupmongers at Union of Genius, this lentil soup was simple yet deeply satisfying.
Rendezvous – Crab and sweetcorn
A really nicely prepared soup, full of crabstick and sweetcorn goodness.
Ristorante Ferrari – Cauliflower and Cumin
Subtle and elegant, this packed in bundles of flavour to a light, smooth texture. Really good.
Riverhill Coffee Bar – Celeriac, apple and blue cheese
A smashing soup, which pleased me, greatly.
The Roamin’ Nose – Sweet potato and fennel
Beautiful texture and packed with flavour. One to savour.
Rogano – Celeriac and Mushroom
Thick and hearty, Glasgow’s Rogano is one of my favourite soupy spots, when I’m in the West.
The Roseleaf – Cullen skink
A flavour-packed version of this Scottish classic.
Salvo’s Caffe – Lentil
A light but well-seasoned broth, full of chunky vegetable goodness.
Sambuca – Pasta e fagioli
Full of pasta and beans, this was a beautifully seasoned soup.
Sandwich Delights – Mushroom
A chunky and well-seasoned soup.
The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant – Cullen skink
A rustic and hearty version of this Scottish classic. A meal in itself.
Seadogs – Cullen Skink
Chunky pieces of smoked fish and potato, in a lovely light, flavour-packed broth made this a real winner of a dish.
Sicilian Pastry Shop – Lentil
A fantastic lentil soup from this wonderful bakery.
Social Bite – Carrot and coriander
Lovely and creamy, this was an excellently produced, rustic soup.
Songkran – Chicken tom yum
Punchy and aromatic, this soup was really satisfying.
Sugarhouse Sandwiches – Curried carrot and butter bean
Smart and tasty, with whole butter beans providing pleasing hidden treasure, this was a lovely lunchtime soup.
Sylvester’s – Wild mushroom
Wonderfully nutty and beautifully balanced.
Thistle Sandwich Bar – Minted Pea and Ham
Lovely consistency, sweet pea and ham flavours, beautifully balanced by fragrant mint. Really good.
Three Birds – Garlic
Full of rich garlic creaminess, this was as enjoyable and quirky soup.
Time 4 Thai – Chicken and Mushroom
A riot of flavour, with citrus, coconut, chilli and coriander, this soup was one of the more memorable dishes I’ve sampled on all of our quests. A touch out of control, but relentlessly interesting!
Traverse Theatre Bar – Pea and Mint
A generous portion of really nicely made, flavour-packed soup.
Two Thin Laddies – Roasted vegetable
A beautifully thick and hearty soup, full of wonderful roasted flavour.
Urban Angel – Leek, potato and fennel
An excellent, blended, velvety soup, served with delicious bread. Creamy, elegant and satisfying.
Urban West Coffee House – Sweet potato and rosemary
Lovely fresh rosemary added wonderful aromatic notes to this rustic soup.
The West Room – Lentil and Ham Hock
A lovely looking soup, packed with flavour and generous chunks of ham.
Wildfire – Lentil and bacon
A deeply flavoured, profoundly satisfying soup.
Wok and Wine – Seafood and Tofu
A profusion of seafood and tofu, in a light broth, made this a really enjoyable soup.
Woodland Creatures – Sweet potato and coconut
A really well-judged balance of flavours in this satisfying soup.
Agoo Cafe – Cream of broccoli
Nicely creamy and well-seasoned, but a little lacking in resounding broccoli punch.
Amarone – Fish
Light and delicate, with subtle flavour. More like a between course soup for a banquet, than a soup and roll lunchtime snack.
Arcade – Tomato and red pepper
A good soup, with restrained sweetness and rustic texture.
Asti – Chunky vegetable
Chunky vegetables in a light broth. A good, honest soup.
BaGet Stuffed – Chickpea, lentil and spinach
A nice combination of wholesome flavours.
Bar Napoli – Mushroom
A solid but unspectacular mushroom soup.
Berits & Brown – Butternut squash and sweetcorn
A good, homemade soup that lacked a little pizzazz.
Bon Papillon – Vegetable borsht
A good, chunky vegetable soup, that would have been improved by a thicker texture.
Broughton Deli – Apple and Turnip
A little too sweet for my palette, but beautifully inventive.
Caciopepe – Pasta e fagioli
Good, hearty stuff, crammed with a profusion of beans, in a light broth.
Café Marlayne – Squash, sweet potato, coconut
A pleasing marriage of flavours.
Café Milk – Cauliflower and Almond
An unusual colour, but nice taste, with good textural crunch from the almonds.
Café Viana – Lentil and bacon
A good lentil and bacon, but with an over-reliance on black pepper.
Calistoga – Winter vegetable and barley broth
A suitably warming and nourishing broth.
The Cavalry Club – Seafood
A broth rich with coriander and green chilli, filled with juicy prawn pieces.
Cellar Door – Lentil
In a similar vein to Cafe Viana, a good lentil soup with an over-reliance on black pepper.
Centotre – Cauliflower and Parmesan
Essentially a puree, given it was so thick, but with good, light flavour.
Chequers – Broth
A classic Scottish favourite, full of barley and lentils.
Chez Jules – Onion
Lovely, rustic and warming.
Circle Cafe – Red pepper and tomato
A well executed soup, with a lovely texture.
The Clock – Carrot and Courgette
Essentially, a tomato soup with carrot and courgette chunks in it. Wholesome fare.
Dempsey’s – Red pepper, chilli, tomato and creme fraiche
A good bitter edge from the pepper prevented this slipping in to over-sweetness. A nice light summery soup.
Fatma – Fish
A deeply flavourful seafood broth.
First Coast – Chorizo and haricot bean
A well-made, if under-seasoned, soup, with a pleasing amount of rustic goodness.
Fleur’s Deli – Lentil and bacon
A routine lentil and bacon soup.
Flip! – Lentil
Vibrant and bright lentil and red pepper soup.
Foodies at Holyrood – Ham and lentil
A good rustic texture, but light on seasoning.
Frankie and Benny’s – White Onion
Surprisingly good, hearty fare.
Glenhas – Lentil and bacon
Warming but routine lentil and bacon soup, from an odd little place.
Grand Cru – Tomato and red pepper
A soup with good body, but just a little on the over-sweet side.
Gusto – Sweet Potato
Lovely flavours, but just a little too spicy for my palette.
Hadrian’s Brasserie – Roasted Pumpkin
Stylish, and the flavours improved as it cooled down from a scalding hot start, but the croutons lacked crispness.
Holyrood Coffee Shop – Spicy chicken
With a good population of chicken and vegetable chunks, this soup was warmingly satisfying.
Hongfu – Sea Laver and Egg
An elegant start to a meal, full of rockpool goodness.
Kim’s Mini Meals – Pumpkin
A lovely little interlude in another enjoyable meal at Kim’s, this soup was sweet and flavourful.
Librizzi – Tomato and beetroot
An intriguing and successful blend of flavours.
Locanda de Gusti – Lentil and Bean
Hearty and warming goodness.
Maison Bleue – French onion
A good soup, with a superb gruyere crouton.
The Magnum – Butternut squash and cumin
Deeply earthy, with good texture, but could have used a little more delicacy.
Le Mouton Noir – Broccoli and Potato
The blend didn’t quite work, but the soup was still rather satisfying.
Mint Cafe – Tomato and herb
A good soup, that didn’t quite hit the heights.
Nanyang – Chicken
Too hot and spicy for my palette, but nicely fresh.
The Newsroom – Chunky vegetable
A light, creamy soup, filled with good, fresh chunks of veg.
No1 High Street – Spicy tomato and coriander
Nicely presented and full of flavour, this was a good soup.
Olive Branch Bistro – Sweet Potato, Orange and Chilli
A thick and hearty soup, with a good chilli kick.
Olive Branch Sandwich & Coffee Shop – Tomato and Basil
A nice blend of flavours, and light texture, but lacking real pizzazz.
The Outsider – Tomato, lentil and bacon
A solidly good, smart looking soup.
Papii – Leek and Potato
A nice creamy leek and potato, full of soft tasty chunks of tattie.
Peter’s Yard – Tomato and Wensleydale
A nicely textured soup with good chunks of cheese, but far too sweet.
Piemaker – Chicken noodle
Light and delicate, this was a very decent soup.
Pret a Manger – Cajun black bean and bacon
Thick, warming fare, ideal for making your insides glow and satisfying your desire to commune with Southern cuisine.
The Purple Pig – Butternut squash and ginger
Served with excellent bread, this was a very enjoyable bowl of goodness.
Ravenous – Cream of onion
With a lovely texture and punchy flavour, this was an enjoyable soup that just about avoided being overly sweet.
Russian Passion – Borscht
A nice blend of flavours, full of wholesome vegetable goodness.
Salisbury Arms – Tomato and red pepper
A decent soup, but not as good as the other elements of the meal, which were very good indeed.
The Ship on the Shore – Cullen skink
Good, but not to the same standard as their quite exceptional seafood platters.
Siam Thani – Wonton soup
A lovely light broth, filled with pork-filled wontons, but could have used a little extra punch.
The Steading – Green split pea
Packed with flavour, but with a little too coarse a texture to be considered truly satisfying.
Tex Mex – Tomato and Pepper
Thick and hearty, and not overly sweet like some tomato and pepper soups. Good stuff.
Wee Bite – Tomato and Basil
You could stand a spoon up in this thick and flavourful soup. Satisfying lunchtime goodness.
Zaza – Lentil
A decent, hearty lentil soup.