I’ve been a vegetarian for just several months (since December ‘17), and scarfing down veggie burgers and Thai tofu curry dishes, while awesome, can get monotonous. The Gourmet Soup Kitchen is a tucked away spot in Canoga Park, Ca., and a must visit for soup lovers and vegetarians . . .
I grew up in nearby West Hills, went to elementary school right down the hill at Pomelo, and graduated Class of ‘89 at Chaminade College Preparatory which, true to form, was right down the street from Pomelo. With the familiarity breeds contempt theory, I avoided The Gourmet Soup Kitchen due to its West Hills location, and now I regret my decision. In its “about us” page featured on its website
, the establishment handcrafts over 30 vegetarian soups with “loving care.”
If the “Soup to Go” sign gives you wistful Seinfeldian memories of the Soup Nazi, that’s just one reason to check out this small establishment. There are no tables to sit in and enjoy the wide array of soup available, so if you’re looking to wile away an hour with some soupy nourishment, look elsewhere.
That being said, for $6 a pop and the aforementioned assortment, The Gourmet Soup Kitchen is worth the visit. Once you enter, there will be two fresh soups to sample, and usually I pick my favorite of the pair to take home for dinner. For much better planners, there’s an ample selection of frozen soup to choose from, and I can vouch for them as well. A day later, I’ll take them out of my fridge, let them thaw for a spell, and put them on a pan (btw, my cooking talents go as far as placing an English muffin in a toaster). The result is just as good as the fresh “soup to go,” and most of the customers I’ve encountered at The Gourmet Soup Kitchen get the frozen kind.
The folks at The Gourmet Soup Kitchen are also friendly. Jocelyn has been more than friendly with my soup questions and needling suggestions (since my social media skills are at level zero, I was giving her highly unnecessary Instagram advice), and Brynn is a younger who’s currently reading Leo Tolstoy’s “War And Peace.” Anyone who generously laughs at a stupid comment like “A bit of light summer reading, perhaps?” deserves a pat on the back.
But let’s get to the soup. I’ve tried a bunch of their selections and will swear by their Mulligatawny, Himalayan Lentil w/ Kale & Quinoa, and Tomato and Rice. There is so much soup that I often forget the flavors and always get a sample taste whenever I walk in the door. I do wish there was fresh bread or crackers on hand to be sold along with their soups, but there is Fields Market (which is often used for TV shoots btw) next door and, well, that’s just simply me trying to wish something into existence!
My own vegetarian journey has had its bumps along the way (for example, almost fainting in church the first few weeks due to lack of protein), but this is going to be a lifelong thing for me (the next level, if I should choose to accept the mission, is going vegan!). If you’re vegetarian, but more importantly a diehard soup lover, The Gourmet Kitchen should be one of your go-to spots!
***And just a heads up, all of these Places I Love posts are not sponsored – they are simply business I love to frequent!!