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DINING: The bowl and the beautiful

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Dining - A&E

For many eateries, soup is an afterthought … something that can be whipped up early and kept simmering through the day, available as an upsell but not pushed as a menu priority. All too often, in my experience, salt seems to be the main ingredient.

ae-apb-soupremacy02-15col.jpg Hints of nutmeg help boost a cup of Butternut Squash soup at Soupremacy. (IBJ photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Soupremacy (7 E. Market St., 423-0780), taking over the former home of Teapots & Treasures just off Monument Circle, is something else altogether. In a space whose country store décor raises its appeal above other tiny downtown lunch spots—and makes it seem like the Potbelly adjunct that it is—Soupremacy offers a sextet of soups ($3.49/$4.99/$6.90) on any given day, plus Charlie & Barney’s chili ($3.79/$5.49/$7.59) and a tight selection of salads ($3.49/$6.49).

On the greenery front, we found satisfaction in the Endless Summer salad, packed with pear slices, strawberries, baby spinach and Indiana goat cheese in a strawberry vinaigrette. When we unpacked the Kerouac Blues salad, it was absent the promised avocado to go with its Romaine hearts, cucumber, bacon and crumbled blue cheese. But when this was brought to the attention of the friendly, crowded-behind-the-counter staff, we not only got an ample supply but were given a mini cheesecake muffin as recompense. Success on both the salad-making and customer-service fronts.

On to the soup: On multiple visits, we found that hints of nutmeg helped the creamy Butternut Squash transcend. The Lentil appeared thin (hardly the “hearty” stated on the rotating menu board), but rosemary oil helped make the broth flavorful to the last spoonful. And the Chicken & Noodles, filled with handmade shell pasta rather than traditional flat noodles, warmed up a cold day without being particularly memorable.

All are served with fresh bread—ask for the seeded semolina. If you are an aggressive dipper and going for takeout, you can pick up a day-old loaf at the Jimmy John’s around the corner with your spare change.

A trio of 6 oz. soups can be had for $6.25, a recommendation to the indecisive or those who like to graze. Warning: Counter-and-stool space is limited and there are no tables, which won’t be a problem once the weather makes dining on the steps of Monument Circle an option. In more frigid months, know that you might be taking lunch back to the office … or popping in at Potbelly to find eating space.•

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  • Tried It Again
    I was craving some soup today and didn't want Paradise so I gave Soupremacy another go. I had the carmelized onion and it was really good. I will be going back for that!
  • Brussel Sprout Soup?
    If the infamous Brussel Sprout Soup from the now deceased Creation Café can make it onto Soupremecy's menu, then I might try it.
  • pricing
    Mitch: $6.25 gets you three 6-oz cups. Even still, minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25.
  • Best soup
    I am so excited to see Charlie and Barneys chili back downtown. I went in to have it and was given the normal options for toppings such as onions, sour cream, and cheese and then asked about jalapeno's. I generally like stuff spicier than the average person but I had a business meeting right after lunch so opted out of the jalapenos and onions. The chili was just as good as I remembered but I will have to take the staffs recommendation next time and get the Fritos with it. They would have just made the chili that much better. Next time, I won't schedule a business meeting so I can make the chili spicier with the jalapenos and add the onions, but overall, I was very happy to see they had the famous Charley and Barneys chili.
  • So Good
    I discovered Soupremacy last weekI had the Tomato Bisque that has smoked gouda in it and she had the Chicken and noodles. We were both very pleased with our selections, the staff was very friendly, and very helpful as we tried to make a decision. They offered us samples and upon sampling the chicken and noodles, offered that the noodles were put in fresh to the soup since they were home made noodles. Amazing. This place is amazing with awesome soup that is fresh and good. I will definitely be back for lunch and probably take home dinner.
  • $5 for lobster bisque
    I am not sure why there are complaints about not having lobster in the lobster bisque. I have been to many places that only use a small garnish of lobster in there lobster bisque, notable the Columbia Club. If there were to be large chunks of lobster in the lobster bisque, the price would probably be triple what it is, and that is not economical for me and I am sure not for them as well. I was very impressed with the lobster bisque and feel the taste and quality were above and beyond what I expected for the price. You went to lunch at a soup place with more than affordable prices, not St. Elmo's or Ruth Chris. I will definitely be returning to Soupremacy often for there soup.
  • Very Disappointed
    Decided to try it last week. I arived shortly after noon and they had already sold out of two soups. I ordered a lobster bisque and much to my disappointment, found that my soup did not contain a single piece of lobster meat. Two of my lunch partners also ordered the lobster bisque and also mentioned that their soups did not contain any lobster meat. We will not be returning.
  • Disappointment
    The Charlie and Barney's chili is seriously lacking something. I was so excited to see it on the menu but it fell flat from the deliciousness I was used to getting. Also there was not a single piece of lobster meat in my lobster bisque. I was really excited to see Soupremacy open but they have a long way to go before they make it into my regular lunch rotation.
  • $6.25 for 6 ounces
    Come on Lou! When you can no longer be critical of paying an hours wage for 6 ounces of soup you've lost your ability to be helpful to the rest of us.

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