Pike Farms beefsteak tomato soup with prosciutto and housemade mozzarella arancini at Almond.
The flavor-packed French onion soup gets a crust of Jarlsberg in place of the traditional Gruyère atop steaming caramelized onions in a heady stock of beef and chicken at this café in the heart of town. 75 Main St., Southampton, 283-7575
Almond Bar & Restaurant
“It’s a play on both grilled cheese with tomato, and mozzarella sticks dipped in tomato sauce,” explains chef Jason Weiner of his Pike Farms beefsteak tomato soup special sometimes served with prosciutto and house-made mozzarella arancini. “It’s warming on chilly nights in early fall, but still light.” 1 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton, 537-5665
The freshest fish right off the neighboring docks is key to the success of the Montauk chowder at this new eatery. Chef Tony Berkhofer adds fluke along with sea scallops and mussels to his chowder, which has a tomato-cream base and a hint of sherry. 41 S. Euclid Ave., Montauk, 668-3212
Getting a reservation at Dave’s is a challenge, but once inside, you’ll notice chef and owner Dave Marcley’s famous seafood stew on many tables. Marcley tosses in a half lobster, clams, mussels, and whatever fish of the day he might be serving, such as striped bass or swordfish, along with basil, white wine, and onions. “Everything has to cook together in the pot, and every one is made to order.” 468 W. Lake Dr., Montauk, 668-9190
East Hampton Grill
When the weather starts to change, chef Brian Stefano adds only one soup to the menu, a New England clam chowder. “We use local clams and make it fresh daily so it stays clean and doesn’t get muddy,” he explains of the classic seaside soup that gets a smoky hit with bacon and an extra crunch from homemade croutons. 99 N. Main St., East Hampton, 329-6666
The Golden Pear Cafe
The comforting country chicken soup uses fresh roasted chicken stock, free-range chicken, a classic mirepoix, and a medley of organic vegetables including zucchini, yellow squash, and peas. “Fresh rosemary gives this soup an irresistible aroma,” says owner Keith Davis. He thinks it makes a perfect appetizer for an autumn dinner party because it’s light but at the same time hearty. Locations throughout the Hamptons
Old Stove Pub
New owners Tim Salouros and Thomas Makkos recently gave the legendary steakhouse a face-lift and some new menu additions like Greek lemon soup, which is stocked with braised rooster ravioli. “Rooster meat is darker, richer, and more flavorful than chicken,” Salouros says. 3516 Montauk Hwy., Sagaponack, 537-3300
As a young girl in Lazio, Italy, chef Cinzia Gaglio remembers her father whipping up a soothing soup with shrimp, peas, and clams. In her current minestra di gamberi, vongole, and piselli, Gaglio uses a base of clam and fish broth, and then adds ditalini pasta as well as shrimp, garlic, oregano, olive oil, and fresh parsley. 95 School St., Bridgehampton, 613-6469.
Red Bar Brasserie
“I add brandy to browned butter, which brings out the corn’s sweetness,” reveals sous chef Michael Ronzino of his velvety creamy corn and applewood-smoked bacon soup with sage. “The earthiness of bacon and sage adds a wonderful contrast.” 210 Hampton Road, Southampton, 283-0704
Thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf jazz up chef Josh Savi’s savory Tuscan white bean and orzo soup. “I make veggie and chicken stocks, so it’s particularly brothy,” he notes. “It’s my version of minestrone; white beans add protein and texture.” Celery, carrots, garlic, and a hint of pomodoro for acidity round out the dish. 231 Main St., Amagansett, 267-3695