This post is written by Nick Dekker, blogger at Breakfast with Nick and author of a book all about breakfast in Columbus. You can follow him on Twitter @BreakfastwNick.

One of the best ways to keep warm as the weather cools is with a big, steaming bowl of soup. Columbus certainly knows how to weather the winter, so Columbus restaurants know how to whip up hearty bowls of hot soups to warm your toes.

Café Brioso is a favorite stop for downtown dwellers and workers. Their coffee, sandwiches and baked goods are supplemented by soups perfect for sipping by the spoonful or dipping with sandwiches. Brioso’s tomato basil soup is sure to bring back some comforting childhood memories.

Soup2In the Wexner Center for the Arts, Heirloom Café excels at using local ingredients to build healthy (and often vegetarian and vegan) meals, and seasonal soups like the mushroom and fennel are no exception.

Columbus has seen an influx of ramen shops of late, from Edamame at Easton to Rishi downtown and Mashita Noodles in Grandview. The newly-opened Meshikou in Bethel Center is already distinguishing itself with flavorful bowls of ramen with pork, chicken, and veggies.

There are soups a-plenty downtown. AJ’s Café serves sandwiches and pizzas with an Indian flair, and their soups follow the theme, including a tangy vegan lentil and spinach. Deli Boys (http://www.thedeliboys.com) serves up a hot chicken tortilla soup, and Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails concocts a spicy corn chowder to go with their pot roast sandwiches.

Soup1Even in Ohio seafood is a favorite ingredient for soups. Both Lindey’s in German Village and Spagio in Grandview are known for their bisques. Lindey’s makes a lobster bisque topped with shrimp; Spagio fills theirs with lobster claw meat. Spagio also makes a creamy pumpkin bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds. Rivage Atlantique in Worthington fronts their seafood menu with a New England clam chowder that’s flavored with smoked bacon. Around town, the Old Bag of Nails pubs also serve up a much-loved clam chowder.

You can find authentic Vietnamese pho all around town. Pho is a noodle soup in a complex broth loaded with herbs and meat. Giant bowls of it are available at Lan Viet in North Market, MiLi Café on Dublin-Granville Road, and Buckeye Pho on Bethel Road, but popular consensus seems to be that Huong Vietnamese Restaurant serves some of the best in town.

And what’s soup without a little spice? While gumbo is not always considered a soup (it’s much thicker), but we’ll count it for the comfort factor. Track down rich, spicy gumbo at DaLevee’s Short North or Gahanna locations, or check out Chef Butcher’s gumbo at Creole Kitchen.

Soup is a great seasonal item, changing with the weather from hot to cold. What are some of your favorite soups to sip in Columbus?