Mouthful - Ethnic soups

RINCON LATINO: Latinos consider chicken soup to be a complete meal. Every country and region has its own version. At Rincon, the caldo de pollo has more of an El Salvadorian slant. A large bowl of clear chicken broth studded with submerged pieces of tender bone-in chicken comes with a bowl of white rice, oversized El Salvadorian corn tortillas, minced cilantro, chopped onion and jalapeño. You can doctor the soup to your tastes or make a few tacos with a juicy chunk of chicken plucked from the broth. 5055 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-936-8181.

SO KONG DONG: Forget one-dimensional soups when you are sick. Your body needs a jolt, and a bubbling pot of Korean tofu soup from this tofu house — the kimchee style in particular — is just what the doctor ordered. After a parade of panchan (including one of those little fried fish), the waitress rolls out a cart holding midnight black cast iron bowls perched on tiny wooden coasters. Due to the intense heat of the vessel, the soup bubbles and spurts in front of you — too hot to eat even though you know you want to dive in. Take the time to crack a raw egg into the red liquid and watch it cook while the dish reaches a more manageable temperature. Then dig in to the mounds of silken tofu, zucchini and other vegetables as the red broth burns away all that ails you. 5280 Buford Highway, Doraville. 678-205-0555.

TASTY CHINA: After many heat-fueled meals at this Marietta Szechuan spot, the relative mildness of its fish and sour cabbage soup is a shock to the senses. Don't confuse mildness with tameness: This soup is anything but. The broth is almost creamy, but still light. It tickles with the tang leached out of the sour cabbage. And there's a slight piquancy on the finish from the smattering of dried chilies rehydrated with the broth. To give the dish more heft, the kitchen ads slender pieces of white fish that, when tangled with the strands of sour cabbage, resemble seaweed floating beneath the surface of the ocean. 585 Franklin Road, Marietta. 770-419-9849.

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