dish-detail-red-pepper-soupSoup may be the ultimate comfort food. A steaming bowl of your favorite can make an ordinary lunch or dinner a warm and satisfying experience. Cozy up to a cup (or a bowl) of one of these soups, stews and gumbos from the list of dishes to eat in Alabama before you die:

White chicken chili
Jessie’s Cafe, Albertville
Jessie’s signature white chicken chili is one of the most popular menu items at this casual Albertville lunch spot. Tender pieces of chicken fill this deliciously brothy soup, and just the right mix of spices lends a warmth to the dish that can melt even the coldest day.

Hippie Gumbo
Urban Standard, Birmingham
Urban Standard serves up a hearty gumbo for the veggie crowd loaded with seared tofu, okra and the holy trinity. Served with a heap of brown rice and tabasco.

New Orleans Transfer, Muscle Shoals
This version of classic gumbo has easily become one of the most ordered dishes at New Orleans Transfer in Muscle Shoals. Many visitors claim that this Creole seafood gumbo is better than any dish they’ve had in New Orleans itself, making it a can’t-miss meal in North Alabama.

Bluegill Restaurant, Spanish Fort
Ms. Evelyn’s famous gumbo is listed as an appetizer on the menu at Bluegill, but one taste will convince you to make it your entree. Seasoned to perfection with a blend of traditional spices, this gumbo is filled with succulent shrimp and other local seafood catches of the day.

Crab soup
Felix’s Fish Camp, Spanish Fort
A crowd favorite for years, the crab soup at Felix’s is often described as a Southerner’s version of clam chowder. Creamy and filled with plenty of lump crabmeat fresh from the Gulf, this soup makes even the biggest soup skeptic lick the bowl clean. Customers rave about this dish, making Felix’s a must-visit in the Spanish Fort area.

Seafood gumbo
Doc’s Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar, Orange Beach
If you’ve heard of Doc’s, chances are you’ve heard the praises of their seafood gumbo. Doc’s simple creed is to serve “laid-back local stuff,” and the gumbo doesn’t disappoint. Homemade, filled with fresh, local seafood, and served with a smile, the soup consistently draws crowds of hungry fans to this quaint seafood spot.

Homemade soups
Basketcase Café, Dothan
Popular for lunch and catering, Basketcase Café is especially loved for its rotating selection of homemade soups. Whether you order tomato bisque or corn chowder, you’ll find that these pair perfectly with a classic BLT or chicken salad sandwich. Call or stop by to find out the current soup offerings.

Where is your favorite place in Alabama to grab a cup of soup? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

The views expressed here are those of the author.