Soup to Nuts for the Holidays

Gift your besties some soupy and/or nutty goodness this year

Let's note right up front that these gift ideas don't comprise "everything from soup to nuts." No, it's just the soup and the nuts: two locally sourced options for each of those nutritious and popular foodstuffs. You like soup and nuts: Imagine the joy your loved ones will feel when receiving either one of them – or why not both? – from you this season.

If we're thinking pecans, we're thinking Berdoll (see below) (Courtesy of Berdoll Pecan Farm)

The Soup Peddler

Local legend David Ansel began his soupy enterprise 21 years ago, delivering tasty soups around his Bouldin Creek neighborhood via his own trusty bike. Now the indefatigable fellow is the head honcho of a mini-empire of shops at seven separate locations – and the soups are, we daresay, even better. The offerings from this innovative culinary force change daily, but their basic five are always available: chicken soup with rice, green detox broth, beef bone broth, mulligatawny, and tomato basil.

Chop Chop

Asian-inflected soups, fresh frozen and ready for heating and eating at home, provide a finely spiced repast for any season of the year – any year. Chop Chop's Eugene Lin, though, started his Austin soup company by leveraging the restrictions of that whole COVID thing (you remember) back in 2020, delivering a terrific series of liquid nourishment all over town. And now, post-pandemic, the soups are available all over town – at Central Market and Wheatsville and Royal Blue and Whole Foods Market and more – and you can order them online, too: delicious noodle cups with flavors like spicy Korean street noodles, coconut curry, Japanese curry, and Thai lemongrass.


This nutty endeavor's been around since 1993, when Doron Ilai, a UT grad and practicing clinical psychologist, opened his first retail store in Austin. Freshly dry-roasted, premium-quality gourmet nuts – cashews, walnuts, macadamias, almonds, pistachios, and more – and seeds, dried fruits, and other healthy snacks: This is what you'll find for ordering online (and there's an option for local pickup, too), with a whole bunch of Texas-themed gift baskets to delight those out-of-state relatives who already think you're living on a ranch with a herd of longhorns.

Berdoll Pecan Farm

If we're thinking pecans, we're thinking Berdoll. They've got that huuuuge retail store out on Highway 71, of course, and you can shop yourself nutty in that place. For all its immensity, though, it's still a hands-on local success of an operation, with so many variations on one popular nut. Says co-owner Jennifer Wammack, "All of the chocolate pecans, shelled pecan halves, chocolate caramel clusters, pecan brittle, homemade caramel, and more are hand touched by humans in our 9000 square foot factory!" We reckon the exclamation point is valid.

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