I found FIVE soup recipes this past year that deserve the spotlight. Each is rated as "restaurant quality" on the RecipeGirl.com website (and I'd be rather happy to find these on any menu!)
This soup was a delightful surprise this past summer when zucchini was at its peak... Zucchini- Fresh Oregano Soup. It's a fairly simple soup, but it's pretty enough and delicious enough to serve at a dinner party. This recipe is from a cookbook called, The Cuisine of California. Everything I've tried from this cookbook has been outstanding.
This older recipe from Cooking Light was a new discovery for me this year: Tuscan White Bean Soup with Prosciutto. Simple to make, it's a fabulous tasting soup. If you purchase the prosciutto in the deli section, you can get a thicker cut and thus get a chunkier ham in the soup.
On an East Coast vacation last summer, I bought some quahogs (a type of clam) and cooked up a big pot of Black Dog Quahog Chowder. It was super decadent and creamy... everyone was mopping up the last of it with sourdough bread. I would make this again in a heartbeat. This, of course, came from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook.
Off to find another great soup recipe for 2008!