Beyond Chicken Noodle Soup

It finally happened. I recently got the dreaded virus. You know, the one that’s been going around. Stuffed-up sinuses meant I wanted nothing more than big bowls of the spiciest soup I could find in Salt Lake City. I wanted nourishing, filling, piping hot, and a spice level to sear the congestion out of my head. 

Since all I’m hearing is that everyone else is coming down with a cold, the flu, and of course, the Om&*!78 strain of covid (or whichever version we are on), here are some of my favorite alternatives to the standard chicken noodle soup you can find in Salt Lake City. They helped me. Hopefully, they will help you too! 

soup Salt Lake City
Tosh’s Ramen. Photo by Lydia Martinez

Tosh’s Ramen

Award-winning for a reason; this is my favorite Ramen shop in Salt Lake City. Their broth is done right—simmered for hours until it is perfectly milky looking and rich. While they don’t deliver, you CAN place an order and send a non-sickie to pick it up. 

For maximum heat, go for the Spicy Karai Ramen with tonkotsu broth served with spicy ground pork, a soft-boiled egg, sweet shiitake mushroom, bean sprouts, and spring onion. I always add their Kimchi to the bowl for an extra fermented kick.

Another favorite is the Curry Ramen. Japanese curry is delicious and has an umami that sets it apart. The tonkotsu broth is flavored with Japanese beef curry and topped with a pork cutlet, onsen soft-boiled egg, and bok choy served with wheat noodles. The spice level is milder but lingers. It’ll get the job done! 

Somi Vietnamese Bistro

In the heart of Sugar House, Somi has been one of my go-to’s for years. Their pho is delicious, and the broth is top-notch. Somi offers delivery and pick-up.

I get their Grass-Fed Wagyu Beef Pho. When you are sick, the best thing about pho is that you can doctor it up with jalapenos and sriracha to volcano levels of heat, and the basil adds another level of congestion-clearing fragrance. It goes down easy if you have a sore throat to boot.

Some other options if you want something a bit more hearty is their Lemongrass Beef Noodle Soup with brisket, beef shank, and rice noodles in a tangy, spicy broth with fresh herbs. I also love the Crab Meat Noodle Soup with crab and pork meatballs, shrimp, tofu, and rice noodles in a savory tomato broth. It isn’t really spicy, but it is filling and unique. 

Feldman’s Deli

I realize that we can’t all be spicy food people. Maybe you want something warm and comforting without the heat—Feldman’s Deli to the rescue with the best beyond-the-basic chicken soup. 

The Matzo Ball Chicken Soup is as comforting as they come. The broth is salty and thick; the matzo ball dumplings are just the right size. At $6 a cup, it is worth ordering a bigger portion— some, for now, some for later since it reheats so well (unlike Ramen and Pho).

La Casa Del Tamal

Known for their Tamales (some of the best), this spot made my list for their Caldos. In Spanish, caldo means “hot,” but caldos in foodie terminology means a soup with a clear, usually spicy broth. If you’re sick, you’d need someone to fetch the soup for you—they offer dine-in or take-out. 

Get the Caldo de Res, the heartwarming brothy beef soup made with squash, corn, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes. This is authentic grandma-style soup, and you’ll feel better almost immediately after slurping it down.

If you’re feeling brave, get the Menudo. It is the weekender Mexican cure-all. It will make everything from hangovers to sinus infections run for the hills. This is another sure-to-cure soup made with tripe in broth with red chili pepper. 

Thai Garden Bistro

Thai anything is a solid choice when you are sick. With all the veggies, a good dose of heat, fresh lime juice, and herbs, it comes across as healthy while still showing up as comfort food. They offer both carryout and delivery. 

I’m a sucker for Tom Yum Soup. Hot. Sour. Lots of veggies. You can get it with tofu, chicken, or shrimp. I also love the Tom Kha Soup, which is hot and sour, but it also comes with a coconut milk broth for a silky rich flavor. Both will treat you well. 

Beltex Meats

This local butcher shop was a weekly visit for me during the pandemic. Since they are all about tip-to-tail butchery, they also have containers of frozen house-made Bone Broth on hand. You’ll usually find beef or chicken bone broth, pho, and ramen broth. It is worth picking up now to have on hand for when you DO get sick down the road. It is highly sippable.

What do you crave when you have a cold? 

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Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinez is a freelance food, travel, and culture writer. She has written for Salt Lake Magazine, Suitcase Foodist, and Utah Stories. She is a reluctantly stationary nomad who mostly travels to eat great food. She is a sucker for anything made with lots of butter and has been known to stay in bed until someone brings her coffee.

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