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3 solid soup choices to warm up your winter
Plus, a few extras
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Chili is one of the soup options available at Sweet Magnolias. - photo by Austin Steele

If you’re already feeling the post-Christmas blues or dreading the colder months ahead, a few tried-and-true soup places in the area have you covered.

Warm your winter by trying these locally made bowls of warmth and goodness, all of which were recommended by various soup lovers in the community.

Alpha Gyro Grill

Combining their Greek family recipes, Alpha Gyro Grill co-owners George Giannoulas and Christos Nicolaou, have created three of their favorite soups to serve to the community of Gainesville.

Nicolaou said Giannoulas prepares each soup from scratch every day.

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Alpha Gyro Grill's George Giannoulas prepares a bowl of white bean soup on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. - photo by Austin Steele

“Soup is the elixir of life, it’s a very nice introductory course before your meal,” he said.

Bringing brightness not only with its yellow hue, but its flavor, Alpha Gyro Grill’s lemon chicken soup is more than meets the eye.

Don’t be fooled by its creamy texture, the soup contains no milk.

Although the soup’s base is made from chicken broth, the citrusy flavor from the lemon sings the loudest note.

Other ingredients in the soup include beaten eggs, pieces of chicken and orzo, a short-cut pasta.

For those who want to stay warmer longer, Nicolaou recommends the lentil soup.

Completely vegetarian, the soup is composed of lentils, onions, garlic, bay leaves, tomato sauce, carrots, oregano, spearmint and other herbs.

The lentils add a full-bodied texture to the soup, making it a filling option for the winter.

Also known as the staple food of the Greek Army, Alpha Gyro Grill makes a white bean soup.

Nicolaou said he calls it “mountain soup” for its hardiness.

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Alpha Gyro Grill offers a white bean soup. - photo by Austin Steele

The white bean soup is made of navy beans, onions, carrots, celery, tomato sauce and a touch of seasoning from salt and pepper.

Other options that will soon pop up on the restaurant’s menu include garbanzo soup and beef vegetable soup.

Alpha Gyro Grill is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. You can find it at 215 Jesse Jewell Parkway SE in Gainesville.

Sweet Magnolias Cafe & Bakery

Sweet Magnolias Cafe & Bakery offers a selection of rotating soups year-round.

Anabel Lopez, manager of the restaurant, said two of the most popular options are the tomato basil soup and the shrimp and potato soup.

“All of our soups are made from scratch and nothing is frozen or preserved,” she said.

The tomato basil soup is composed of tomato paste, fresh garlic and basil. The shrimp and potato soup contains shrimp, carrots, corn and potatoes.

The restaurant additionally makes a chili with ground beef, chili beans, tomatoes and special seasoning.

“The recipe was handed down from the previous owners,” Lopez said. “All of our customers say it’s the best chili in town because it’s made fresh.”

Sweet Magnolias Cafe & Bakery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It is located in the Main Street Market at 118 Main St. SW in Gainesville.  

Longstreet Cafe

Treat your tastebuds to Longstreet Cafe’s Southern soup classics like the chicken and dumplings and home-style vegetable soup.

Mixed of onions, potatoes, green beans, peas and tomatoes, the restaurant’s vegetable soup is the most popular choice among customers.

“It’s comfort food,” Bobby Peck, the restaurant’s general manager said. “People grew up eating vegetable soup in the winter time, but we sell it year-round.”

Every Monday, Longstreet Cafe serves its beloved chicken and dumplings.

The dumplings are made out of the restaurant’s biscuit dough, which are added to the soup’s broth and strips of chicken.

Peck said the chicken and dumplings recipe has been on the menu since Longstreet Cafe opened more than two decades ago.

Other soups people can find at the restaurant include Brunswick stew, clam chowder and bean soup.

Longstreet Cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The restaurant’s two Gainesville locations are at 405 Pearl Nix Parkway and 1043 Riverside Terrace.

Want more soup options? Check out Natural Juice Cafe at 2480 Limestone Parkway in Gainesville, Saigon Deli at 3446 Winder Highway in Flowery Branch or Eat At Thai at 975 Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville.

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Alpha Gyro Grill offers three types of soups: lentil, white bean, and lemon chicken. - photo by Austin Steele
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