Veggie Girl: Soup's On!

Categories: Veggie Girl

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The Art of Soup -- perfect (and cheap) vegetarian lunch spot.

By Megan Irwin

Eating vegetarian is not a fringe lifestyle choice. According to the Vegetarian Times 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians and 22.8 million follow a mostly vegetarian diet.

So why is it so hard to find a good veggie-friendly meal in Phoenix? Sure, we have Green (one of my favorite places in town) and a handfull of other well known spots, but it's easy to get tired of the Green-Fate-Pita Jungle circuit.

Especially if you're like me: I haven't eaten meat in seven years but I also never learned to cook anything more sophisticated than a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of pasta. I've managed to keep myself fed by discovering places around town that can serve me more than a Boca Burger or a wilted salad. And I've learned that just like everything else in Phoenix, there's a lot there if you know where to look -- so I'll be taking you to a new Veggie friendly place each week. I've been eating around this town for 7 years, but if you think I might have missed something, feel free to tip me: megan.irwin@newtimes.com.

Yesterday I tried The Art of Soup an organic soup shop I'm surprised no one thought of sooner. (After all, Larry David gave us the Soup Nazi 13 years ago...)

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My bowl of vegetarian bean soup tasted better than this picture looks.

I'm not exactly sure why I insisted on eating soup on the hottest day of the year so far, but I'm glad I did. It was delicious. These pictures I snapped really don't do it justice. Owner Janet Van Winkle seems to realize that hot soup in an Arizona summer is a tough sell -- the cafe is dark and cool.

Van Winkle cooks two or three soups a day, and makes everything from scratch AND (most importantly) uses vegetable stock in her vegetable soups. Yay!

I had 8 ounces of the vegetarian with beans soup and it was so flavorful, I would have probably drank the broth out of the bowl if I wasn't in public. (I know. I'm gross.) I'm already planning a return trip for the chilled mango and cucumber soup and the red pepper gazpacho. Van Winkle updates the Web site weekly so you always know what the soup of the day is.

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Yum!



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