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Simmer down 

Six spots for soothing, restorative soup

Who doesn't love soup? From tom ka gai, the Thai coconut milk-based soup, to a seasonal potage of locally grown winter squash, the yen for a bowl of nourishing sustenance emerges when Atlanta's heat at last subsides. Here are a few favorites for when the soup craving calls. Didn't include your fave? Let me know.

Cho Dang Tofu

Interactive Korean soup at its blustery best. A cauldron of tumultuously bubbly tofu soup with additions of seafood, beef or dumplings is put before you. Crack a raw egg into the soup and sit back: It's the culinary version of Jack Nicholson having his meltdown at the end of The Witches of Eastwick. Once the egg melds with the brew, spoon the soup into your own bowl with some rice. This stuff truly warms the bones.
5907 Buford Highway, Doraville, 770-220-0667.

Loaf & Kettle

This charmer may be tucked into a corner of the Healey Building downtown, but it's far from a secret. Three daily soups are offered: On the day I stopped in, the clear winner was a thick, creamy-dreamy crab chowder with spinach and corn. In the mood for a sandwich, too? Try the Cuban, or, for vegetarians, the upscale pimento cheese number.
57 Forsyth St., 404-525-8624.

Mimi's in a Minute

Mimi's is a solid choice on your way home from work for a pint of potage to go. A different soup is featured every day of the week, though a smooth, sherry-laced lobster bisque is a mainstay. Recently sampled creations include brothy Italian wedding soup with plump little meatballs, and chicken heady with the fragrance of tarragon.
3125-A Briarcliff Road, 404-636-5800.

Soup Garden

Ensconced in the plethora of shopping centers that surround Cobb Galleria, this quick-stop spot focuses on homey, unfussy soups (there's a sign in the window that says, "Beef vegetable is served every day"). Someone in the kitchen loves to cook Cajun: Both the seafood gumbo and red beans and rice deliver soulful depth. Looking for something more soothing? Try the cream of potato when it's available.
2945 Cobb Parkway, 770-955-5726.

Souper Jenny

Jenny Levison, Atlanta's undisputed queen of soup, and her committed crew continue to draw crowds at this cozy Buckhead haven. Call the Souper Jenny Hotline at 404-239-9023 to hear the soups for the day. Standards include My Dad's Turkey Chili and Everything Vegetable (the message even includes the Weight Watcher's points). I jones for the more esoteric offerings like a spiced Greek variation with spinach and feta, or the comfort of butternut squash with blue cheese and spiced nuts. Don't fear that long line trailing out the door. Jenny's folks know how to keep it moving.
56 E. Andrews Drive, 404-239-9023.

Pho 79

Vietnamese pho is the new chicken soup for the soul. The aromatic broth, thin cuts of meat and fresh, crunchy veggies do wonders for a head cold. Good pho places abound on Buford Highway, but Pho 79 has peppy Asian videos and servers who you just know are back in the kitchen saying, "Mel, kiss my grits," in Vietnamese. They enjoy spicing up your soup for you with chili sauce. Go on and let them. It clears the sinuses.
4166 Buford Highway, Chamblee, 404-728-9129.

bill.addison@creativeloafing.com

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