Tasting Table Asks: What's The Best Seafood Soup? - Exclusive Survey

There's perhaps no meal more comforting and satisfying than a bowl of soup, and when you throw seafood into that bowl, we're twice as excited. Seafood soups can be found all over the world, and whether you're in Thailand with a bowl of tom yam pla or in Scotland with Cullen skink, seafood soups can be healthy, delicious, and cost-effective.

As food prices have increased, many cooks look for ways to stretch grocery dollars, and soup, according to the Cape Cod Times, is one of the best cost-cutting strategies. "Nothing stretches further than soup," the outlet declares, because soup can be used to repurpose leftovers or transform inexpensive ingredients into a meal that's both nutritious and affordable. 

Since seafood prices are especially affected by inflation, soups are a way to utilize every part of the expensive product, even the shells (via Ask Chef Dennis). With so many options out there, we wanted to know what kind of seafood soup Tasting Table readers prefer, so we asked 588 of you what the best type of seafood soup is from the following options: clam chowder, bisque, gumbo, crab soup, and cioppino. While we're up for a bowl of any of the above, there is a clear winner among our readers.

It's chowder for the win!

Clam chowder is the clear winner of our survey with about 35% of the votes. Of course, clam chowder isn't just one dish — there are at least three distinct styles of clam chowder in the U.S. Rich and creamy New England clam chowder is arguably the most popular and best known, at least according to USA Today, though the tomato-based Manhattan clam chowder has its fans. (One of which culinary giant James Beard clearly was not, having described the soup thusly: "that rather horrendous soup called Manhattan clam chowder ... resembles a vegetable soup that accidentally had some clams dumped into it.") Rhode Island has its own, lesser-known variant of clam chowder as well that's clear, including neither cream nor tomatoes.

As for the rest of your favorite seafood soups, bisque and gumbo essentially tied for second place, each receiving roughly 23% of your votes. Crab soup pulled 15% of the votes, and cioppino, the hearty seafood stew that KQED reports originated in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, received roughly 4% of the votes in our poll.

No matter which style of seafood soup you prefer, we recommend enjoying it with a loaf of freshly baked French bread.