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Three soups and three salads worth your stomach space and hard-earned money

click to enlarge Create your own lunch at  the Rocky Rococo salad bar. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Create your own lunch at the Rocky Rococo salad bar.

Gnawing on veggies and slurping up soup; perhaps not everyone's idea of a fantastic meal. But when eaten together or alone in the correct way, salad and soup can be incredibly filling and satisfying. Here are six options under $8 that you should try today.

SOULFUL SOUPS SPIRITS

117 N. Howard, 459-1190, soulfulsoupsspokane.com

When you get the large Big Sky beer cheese soup with a side of fresh-baked beer bread for lunch at Soulful Soups and Spirits for $7.75, you think, "Do these people know how much I eat? This isn't going to fill me up." But then, about halfway through the bowl of goodness, lusciously cheesy with rich spices, your stomach suddenly feels like you just ate at Grandma's for Thanksgiving. Don't worry; you'll finish the whole thing. The restaurant and lounge serves five to six freshly made soups daily. Beer cheese and (the equally amazing) tomato basil are served daily; others are rotational. Large green salads are available for $7.

METHOD JUICE CAFE

718 W. Riverside, Ste. 101, 473-9579, methodjuicecafe.com

Every day, Method offers a different organic soup; some are hot, some are cold. One soup you won't find anywhere else in town is Method's raw miso soup. Not only is it served chilled, it's pink. Full of vegetables and fruit, the soup tastes mostly like celery with a little bit of sweet or spicy, depending on what you crunch into. It's almost like juice, just with chunks of healthy things floating around in it. Other soups offered on rotation include lentil, chili, gazpacho and chickpea curry. Call or check their website for daily soup selections, which are always $5 and quite filling. Method also offers daily green salads for $6.

MANITO TAP HOUSE

3011 S. Grand Blvd., 279-2671, manitotaphouse.com

Manito Tap House has 50 beers on tap. That's what you should know first. After that, it's all about the jalapeño cheddar soup (which happens to be gluten-free). People come from miles around to ingest it, in a cup for $4, or a bowl for $7. What makes the slightly orange soup a dream come true is the spiciness that never quite takes you out, but burns slowly. It's robust and creamy. The Tap House also offers a soup of the day and a variety of half salad options for $6.

THE WHITE HOUSE GRILL

712 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, Idaho, 208-777-9672, whitehousegrill.com

There are all kinds of Caesar salads. There are the fake ones you get at most restaurants, and then there's the authentic White House Grill Caesar salad. This one comes warm to the table and uses anchovies in the dressing. The use of garlic takes it over the top — it's so garlicky that no one will want to get near your mouth for a couple of days after eating it, but it's worth it! The Grill has an offshoot in Liberty Lake in the form of the Garlic Mobile food truck, which offers cheap, garlic-filled soups and salads.

ROCKY ROCOCO PIZZA AND PASTA

520 W. Main, 747-1000, rockyrococo.com

A large lunch salad bar for under $8? Yes, it exists. Short of breakfast cereal and candy, Rocky Rococo's all-you-can-eat salad bar has almost everything a person could ever want (or not want) to pile on their mixed greens salad, including nuts, fresh and canned vegetables and fruit, hard-boiled eggs, croutons and beans, along with what appears to be every dressing ever created to top it off. The salad bar also includes a variety of soups. Go back as many times as you like for more; at $7.50, it's a steal.

HUCKLEBERRY'S 9TH STREET BISTRO

926 S. Monroe, 624-1349, huckleberrysnaturalmarket.com

The grocery store is known for selling pricey, good-for-ya kind of food, but the bistro part of Huckleberry's offers some deals. Come in for a soup-and-salad pairing, and you can end up only spending about $7. The items change on a rotating basis, but you can't go wrong with any of the options. We highly recommend the corn chowder ($3 for a cup; $4.50 for a bowl), which comes with bacon, and the farmers market salad ($2.50 for a plate), which includes red onions, bell pepper, garbanzo beans, parmesan cheese and a Dijon mustard dressing. ♦

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