The veggie tofu pho at Phở Thanh Na in Monroe is chock-full of tender-crisp broccoli and carrots, bright aromatics and a light, flavorful broth that acts as a canvas for fresh bean sprouts, herbs, lime, chili oil and sriracha. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)

The veggie tofu pho at Phở Thanh Na in Monroe is chock-full of tender-crisp broccoli and carrots, bright aromatics and a light, flavorful broth that acts as a canvas for fresh bean sprouts, herbs, lime, chili oil and sriracha. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)

Good soup: Where to find chowder, pho and more belly-warming bowls

These Snohomish County eateries are the perfect soup stops on a cold fall (or winter) day.

When the temperature dropped a few weeks ago, and the smoke was replaced by sweet gentle rain and fog, I suddenly craved brothy, hot bowls of soup. Ramen became part of my daily lunch rotation. I luxuriated in the warmth, slurping noodles and broth while watching The Witch and Nope and Hocus Pocus (and yes, Twilight for the 12th time.)

Take this weather shift as a PSA to enjoy lots of soup. Check out our (certainly not exhaustive) list of soup-er Snohomish County eateries, from my favorites to Herald reader picks.

Arroz caldo

If you love chicken and rice soup, may I suggest this cozy Filipino dish? Arroz caldo is a rice porridge simmered in a gingery chicken broth. Fil Cuisine, which just opened its second location in Lynnwood (next to Katsu Burger and across from H Mart), tops theirs with scallion and crispy fried garlic. Don’t skip the hard boiled eggs on top.

Fil Cuisine also serves up papaitan, ginisang munggo, pork menudo and other savory soul-warming Filipino dishes. Fil Cuisine is still in its opening stages, so check their social media for up-to-date opening times. They will be open Wednesday.

3333 184th St. SW, Lynnwood; 253-239-4429. Check social media for opening days/times: www.facebook.com/filcuisine

Pho

One of the first things I noticed as a food reporter in Snohomish County was the beautiful saturation of pho shops and Vietnamese restaurants throughout.

These eateries are the perfect backdrop for a solitary dining experience, with a simple seating area and extensive pho options. No conversation needed.

Pho Thanh Na in Monroe is one such place. I stopped by a few months ago after realizing my go-to banh mi spot nearby was closed for the day. I quickly realized that aside from spring rolls, Pho Thanh Na is exclusively a pho shop. While I went lighter with their veggie tofu pho, the broth was still bright with a great depth of flavor and perfectly tender-crisp carrots and broccoli. I used the base as a canvas for fresh bean sprouts, herbs, lime, chili oil, sriracha — all tools for clearing my mind (and sinuses).

I sat by myself, enjoying my pho — especially the soft tofu and rice noodles that soaked up the clean broth — while the folks around me slurped away and chatted, enjoying this momentary slice of peace. I was grateful this place didn’t serve banh mi.

19022 Lenton Place SE, Monroe; 360-805-8000. Open Tuesday through Sunday at 11 a.m. Closed Monday.

Here are three other pho joints to check out:

Basil Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine: A Herald reader top choice, Basil consistently ranks well for its balance of spices and aromatics in its not-too-salty broths.

909 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett; 425-374-8082. Open every day at 10 a.m.

Pho 84: A no-frills spot for Vietnamese soup in Lynnwood with a range of beef options, including tripe and fatty brisket.

6815 196th St SW, Lynnwood; 425-775-4143; open Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. Closed Sunday.

Yeh Yeh’s: A beloved banh mi shop with a standard pho menu. Order one of each and dip your sandwich into the flavorful pho broth.

19915 64th Ave. W., Lynnwood; 425-776-7213; Open Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. Closed Sunday.

Market Edmonds’ clam chowder is a solid choice, with a fish stock base, celery and onion, cubed potatoes, pleasantly chewy and sweet clams and just the right amount of cream. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)

Market Edmonds’ clam chowder is a solid choice, with a fish stock base, celery and onion, cubed potatoes, pleasantly chewy and sweet clams and just the right amount of cream. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)

Clam chowder

Since clam chowder is a chilly weather staple, I headed down to Market in Edmonds last week for a bowl. With heated outdoor seating, Market is the perfect spot to enjoy a hot cup of chowder on a perfectly moody PNW day. Market’s seafood chowder gets straight to the point, with a fish stock base, celery and onion, pleasantly chewy and sweet clams and just enough potatoes. And bless them — Market keeps some of the potato skins on.

508 Main St., Edmonds; 425-967-5329; open everyday at 11 a.m. Outdoor seating only.

Snohomish County has plenty of places to chow on chowder. Check out a few below:

Andy’s Fish House: A Herald reader top choice, Andy’s is known for its chowder bread bowl.

1229 1st St., Snohomish; 360-862-0782; open everyday at 11 a.m.

Ivar’s: Need we say more? Ivar’s offers white or red chowder. Go big with their Tanker bowl, or skip the clams and order their Alaska smoked salmon chowder.

Locations in Marysville, Everett, Mukilteo and Edmonds. Open daily.

Tom kha

If you want a multi-layered soup that is creamy, spicy, slightly sour and fragrant, head to Monroe and order tom kha from Thai on Main Street. With coconut milk, galangal (ginger’s earthy, citrusy cousin), lemongrass, mushrooms and your choice of protein, this soup is comforting and, as the owners put it, “therapeutic.”

Co-owner Bousa Inthapanya is from Laos and has brought pieces of his home country to the restaurant, from photos of his childhood temple to dishes like khao poon katee, an aromatic curry noodle soup.

115 W. Main St., Monroe; 360-794-8101; open Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and Saturday at noon. Closed Sunday.

Braised beef noodle soup

Dumpling Generation is obviously known for its dumplings (which you can buy hot or frozen to take home), but its braised beef noodle soup is also a bestseller. They serve chicken, wonton, pork, tofu vegetable and seafood noodle soups as well.

23830 Highway 99, Suite 115, Edmonds; 425-678-0806; open Tuesday through Friday at noon, and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. Closed Monday.

The classic soup and sandwich combo

Fewer lunches are better than a soup and sandwich pairing. The Sisters Restaurant in Everett is a soup-erb choice according to Herald readers, with a daily rotation of soup (chowder, chicken gumbo and tomato, to name a few), and sandwiches like the Reuben, the BLT and their popular cajun turkey.

Head to The Sisters after shopping at Sno-Isle Food Co-op for a filling lunch. Don’t forget to order a slice of their carrot cake.

2804 Grand Ave., Everett; 425-252-0480; open weekdays at 8 a.m. and weekend days at 9 a.m.

Let food reporter Taylor Goebel know your favorite soup stops at taylor.goebel@heraldnet.com.

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