Soup-er Nova

As temperatures drop, seek out some signature soups.

Creamy tomato soup is a satisfying chilly-weather treat at E's on Main Street in Middletown. Photograph by Thom ThompsonCreamy Tomato Soup
E’s on Main Street Cafe & Catering in Middletown uses heavy cream in its signature soup, which comes garnished with garlic croutons and shredded Parmesan. Owner Eileen Keegan makes about 24 gallons a week.
13 W. Main St., Middletown, 376-5988

Seafood Chowder
This combo of cod, shrimp and clams has been a hit at The Buttery in Lewes for 14 years. “When we even pretend to take it off the menu, there is a public outcry,” says owner John Donato, who credits the fame to the soup’s classic origins. “It’s a Nantucket chowder with Portuguese influence.” Fresh cod is a must.
102 2nd St., Lewes, 645-7755

Tomato-Parmesan Soup
On average, Culinaria owners Pam Grabowski and Ezio Reynaud will make 14 gallons a week of this famous soup. The secret is its construction. Tomatoes are sautéed in olive oil before splashing into chicken broth. Crunchy croutons, fine Parmesan cheese and fresh basil provide the finishing touch.
1812 Marsh Road, # 10, Wilmington, 475-4860

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Southwestern Chicken-Corn Chowder
Designed for Michele’s restaurant, the soup is new to Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. “The chowder’s hearty ingredients and spice make a perfect dish for a chilly day,” says Fred Bohn, director of culinary operations. It features roasted corn, cilantro, thyme and chopped pepper bound with a light brown roux.
1131 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 734-7223

Butternut Squash and Crab Bisque
Matt Haley’s Fish On, Bluecoast Seafood Grill, Northeast Seafood Kitchen and Catch 54 are known for the bisque, though it might be made with sweet potatoes, pumpkin, shrimp or lobster, depending on the restaurant and the chefs’ whim.
Fish On—17300 N. Village Main Blvd, Lewes, 645-9790
Bluecoast Seafood Grill—Rt. 1, Bethany Beach, 539-7111
Northeast Seafood Kitchen—29 Atlantic Ave., # F, Ocean View, 537-1785
Catch 54—15 Madison Ave., Fenwick Island, 436-8600

Chicken Gumbo
This zesty chicken gumbo with andouille and okra has been on the menu of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant almost since it opened. “We blow through it,” says Greg Bond, manager of the Wilmington location. The secret is the homemade roux.
710 S. Madison St., Wilmington, 472-2739
147 E. Main St., Newark, 266-9000

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