Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
May 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Soup's On!

dining_ristorantiItalianoChilly temperatures send the stock pots to simmering all around town

On weary winter weekends the lunch table would feature hot soup from familiar red and white cans. Tomato was my favorite (made with water, not milk) with crisp, salty crackers crumbled on top.

Even better however was soup after the holidays when Mom would toss a ham bone into a pot of dry, soaked lima beans. Unaware of the frugality of the meal, I held my face over the bowl, relishing the smoky-smelling steam, and then whistled onto large spoonfuls until the flat beans and thick broth were cool enough to eat.

My kids fortunately liked split pea soup. No need to soak the peas, just add them to boiling water with grated carrot, onions, and diced lean ham or Canadian bacon and it practically cooks itself within an hour. Sometimes I'd add whole grain barley.

Soup is the current star on many a restaurant menu. At Ristorante Italiano, I stir grated Parmesan into the hearty minestrone with pieces of sweet Italian sausage and plenty of vegetables, beans and pasta. Ristorante usually has a soup of the day as well. At lunch a cup ($6.95) or large bowl ($8.95) of soup is served with a reasonably sized salad. In their seafood chowder, chunks of soft potato and plenty of pieces of bacon and shellfish were suspended in thick cream.

I also stopped in to take out a pint of Zucchini-Almond Soup ($6.95). The luscious green purée included micro-thin slices of almonds which added meaty and nutty flavors. It was packed with four slices of fresh Italian bread and pats of cold butter which were warmed by the soup to a smooth, spreadable consistency.


Ristorante Italiano, 555 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 458-2321.


Joe's Pizza and Subs also serves bowls of delicious clam chowder ($3.50), made colorful with celery, carrots and chives. But what really lifts me up is a bowl of Joe's vegetarian Lentil Soup ($3). The aroma, perfumed with cumin and other Mediterranean spices drifts up from the thick, pale yellow combination of soft legumes and grains.


Joe's Pizza & Subs, 841 North Branciforte Ave., Santa Cruz, 426-5955; 1207 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 713-5650; and on the campus of UC Santa Cruz, 459-3066. Visit menustation.com/joespizza/menu.html.


My personal favorite cure for the common cold includes Tom Yum Gai, the spicy hot and sour Thai chicken soup. During lunch at Sawsadee Thai in Soquel, they add rice noodles to the bowl ($6.99); a serving so large I brought half of it home. Sour, chili-flecked broth flavored with kaffir lime harbored chunks of chicken breast, bean sprouts, lemongrass, sweet chewy pieces of roasted garlic, fresh cilinto, green onions and bok choy with thin ribbons of translucent noodles. My sinuses were finally clear.dining_soup


Sawasdee Thai Cuisine, 5050 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 462-5051. Visit sawasdeesoquel.com.


When strolling down Pacific Avenue on a chilly morning, I'd choose a cup of soup over latte any day. Zoccoli's serves vegetarian minestrone ($3.95) and chili con carne ($4.25) daily, as well as soups of the day on weekdays. On Fridays you'll find red and white chowders ($4.25). On a Tuesday I ordered a pint of Bean and Ham ($3.95) to go. Such a deal! Opening the container, the smoky scent of ham caught my attention. The broth was packed with cannellini-like beans, stewed tomatoes, minced carrots and herbs.


Zoccoli's Italian Delicatessen, 1534 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-1711. Visit zoccolis.com.


★★★


The Santa Cruz Fungus Fair returns to Loudon Nelson Center this weekend Jan. 7-9 featuring mushroom displays, cooking demonstrations, and educational speakers.

The Friday lecture features mushrooms of the world with a cooking demonstration by Oswald's Chef Damani Thomas.

Saturday's and Sunday's educational sessions include discussions on poisonous species, herbal uses, and a two-part series on "The Wheel of Fungi" from David Arora, mycologist and author, who founded the Fungus Fair in 1975. Topics are likely to include ecology, usage, cuisine and foraging.

The kids' room will feature craft projects and face painting, while a habitat area will hold hundreds of bay area mushroom species.


Santa Cruz Fungus Fair, 4-7 p.m, Friday, Jan. 7 ($5), Loudon Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 8-9 ($7),  For more information visit scfungusfair.org.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

Should Pacific Avenue be a one-way street, two-way street, or pedestrian only?

I would definitely support closing off Pacific Mall to cars. I think that would be wonderful. Jim Grey, Santa Cruz, Builder