New Bedford’s Battle of the Broth: Kale Soup or Clam Chowder?
I am what you might call a soup nut. I love soup. There is nothing like a steaming bowl of soup on a cold February day, but I can eat soup on a hot day in July, too. I love soup.
The people of the SouthCoast love soup, too. I found this out last August 25 when I wrote a piece questioning whether noodles belong in kale soup. It continues to be my view that they don't, but there was certainly no shortage of opinions on the matter.
The Greater New Bedford area is a cultural and culinary melting pot, and as such, there are many soup options available. You can find Egg Drop Soup, ManDuGuk Soup, Zuppa Toscana Soup, Sancocho Stew, Cachupa, Rosol, Irish Lamb Stew, Beef Stew, French Onion Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup and many others, all within a few blocks.
That doesn't even account for what happens in kitchens in homes across the SouthCoast, where some of the finest soup concoctions are created every day.
If we had to select an official soup for New Bedford, in my view, it would come down to a choice between clam chowder (white, not red) and kale soup. Those are the two biggies around these parts. I love them both.
Clam chowder, at least from my perch, is most closely associated with seafood, including fish and chips, whereas kale soup seems to go with everything. Not only that, but there is no one kale soup recipe. Kale soup is different from panela to panela. It is for that reason that I would cast my vote for kale soup as the official soup of New Bedford.
What soup do you believe is the official soup of New Bedford? Is it Kale soup, clam chowder, or something else? Oh, and if you have any good recipes, please share them with us.