Dining » Dining Lead

Souper Chef

Ohio City's Matthew Moore ladles it up good.

by

comment
Soft-spoken Matthew Moore is no Soup Nazi, although the wonderful broths and bisques he creates at his Souper Market (2528 Lorain Avenue, 216-737-7687) are delicious enough to justify a certain amount of arrogance. The Dayton native, whose past experience paired him with some of the area's best chefs (including Michael Tsonton at the now-defunct Tutto a Posto and Karen Small at Flying Fig), opened his little soup shop in December, near the corner of Lorain and West 25th -- an area, incidentally, that is quickly becoming home to the city's most interesting collection of eateries. "My goal was always to have a place of my own," says Moore. "When I started looking for a niche, I noticed that soup kitchens do really well in cities like New York and Chicago. So I figured I'd give it a shot in Cleveland."

The standard menu includes eight soups (six regular offerings and two weekly specials) and four salads, all packed up for carry-out, with a thick slice of Pugliese bread from the East Side's Stone Oven Bakery. There are no tables in the tiny storefront, though a narrow counter provides standing room for those in need of instant gratification. Besides the soups -- which can be had by the cup, the bowl, and the quart -- Moore sells chicken, veal, fish, and vegetable stocks for home use; his wholesale customers include the Old Angle Tavern, Flying Fig, and Fahrenheit.

Which is to say Moore is one busy fella. His day usually starts by 7:30 a.m., when he fires up his 100-gallon stockpot and his 10-gallon kettles, and commences to craft such favorites as rich lobster bisque, spicy jambalaya, and brisk tomato-ginger soup. It's all done the old-fashioned way, with slowly simmered stocks and ingredients that run the gamut from Maytag blue cheese (in the fondue-like blue-cheese soup) to porcini powder (in the earthy wild mushroom). The end products fairly shout with flavor, the popular lobster bisque being a case in point: Imbued with the essence of oven-roasted lobster bodies, fish stock, roux, and heavy cream, the bisque's pure, nutty taste is a revelation to anyone who grew up thinking that the canned stuff is mmm-mmm good.

In time, Moore plans to expand his menu and open additional locations. For now, though, Souper Market hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The kitchen is closed on Sunday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.