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Soup!!! Gotta have it!

sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 11:52 AM

What are some of your favorite soups in the DC/VA/MD area?

Maybe it's because I just got a cold or because I just love soup. Here are a few of my favorites:

Pho (Eden Center. Pho Tay Ho. Many places.)
Hot and Sour Seafood Soup. (Present Vietnamese)
Ciorba. (A sour Romanian soup. Gotta make this at home.)
Mexican Lamb soup. (La Fondita in Bladensburg.)

What are some of yours?

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  1. littlew1ng RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 12:11 PM

    the avgolemno at greek deli.

    1. m
      mjhals RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 12:24 PM

      Crab bisque at Rays the Steaks, and Triple Squash soup from Whole Foods.

      19 Replies
      1. re: mjhals
        Joe H RE: mjhals Sep 11, 2009 04:08 PM

        I am going to be the only person on the face of the earth who believes that Ray's crab bisque pales next to the Narrows cream of crab soup. Yes, it is excellent but the Narrows defines a creamy crab soup.

        And...Citronelle may actually have an even better crab and corn chowder. Kinkead's has several outstanding soups, too including his Portugeuse seafood stew. Then we can talk about Black Salt...and Yannick Cam was superb for...Corduroy, too.

        Also consider the bouillibasse at Eve. Along with Yannick's this is superb.

        Gumbo? Jeff Tunks (i.e. Passion Fish, Arcadia, D. C. Coast)

        1. re: Joe H
          DanielK RE: Joe H Sep 11, 2009 06:19 PM

          Interestingly enough, Ray's crab bisque actually pales in comparison to his New England Clam Chowder.

          No, really.

          No, really.

          1. re: DanielK
            mjhals RE: DanielK Sep 11, 2009 06:34 PM

            I've never gotten past the bisque, is chowder on the menu at Ray's the Steaks, or is it at Ray's the Classics? It must be really, really good to compare to the bisque. That settles it, I'm having my fiance order it next time we go (that way I can stick with the bisque).

            May have to seek out Narrows this weekend, is it in the DC metro area? Edit- I've found it, it's farther than I can get to this weekend, but looks like a fun destination.

            1. re: mjhals
              DanielK RE: mjhals Sep 11, 2009 07:37 PM

              I *think* the chowder is on the menu at both Ray's locations.

              The Narrows is a few minutes past Annapolis just past the bridge, and the cream of crab soup is as good as JoeH says it is!

              And I second Corduroy - never had a soup there that was anything short of spectacular.

          2. re: Joe H
            sekelmaan RE: Joe H Sep 11, 2009 06:39 PM

            I had the bouillibasse at Willow a couple weeks ago. It was dreadful. They barely sauced the bottom of a bowl and then put some small over cooked mussel in pattern. Luckily there was salt on the bar.

            1. re: sekelmaan
              Joe H RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 06:52 PM


              The best in the D. C. area is at Eve and also when Yannick Cam had his restaurant downtown; prior to that in Great Falls. Still, neither of them-or mine-compares to the "traditional boullibasse" we had in Nice on order.

              1. re: Joe H
                Indy 67 RE: Joe H Sep 11, 2009 08:44 PM

                Give Ocean M (McLean) a try for bouillibasse only. The principals in this restaurant are ex- Le Bagatelle. Ocean M uses Le Bagatelle's recipes for many of its dishes, and the bouillibasse tastes old school -- and delicious -- as you'd expect from such a classic French restaurant.

                Incidentally, my husband and I weren't bowled over by our boullibasse in Marseille at Restaurant Miramar. Too much spice. Like you, we loved the version we ate in Nice, although I can't remember the name of the restaurant whose version we enjoyed. Ocean M's version is as close to the Nice version as any we've eaten locally.

            2. re: Joe H
              sekelmaan RE: Joe H Sep 12, 2009 04:57 PM

              So I am thinking about going out to the Narrows tomorrow. This is the restaurant just accross the bridge from Annapolis? What else do you like there beside the soup?

              1. re: sekelmaan
                mjhals RE: sekelmaan Sep 12, 2009 05:11 PM

                Joe- I think you've started a trend, as I'm forming a plan to take my fiance there for his birthday in October (crab cakes are his favorite)! I'd appreciate traveling tips as well (I did check out your earlier thread from a few years ago). And I'd love a report back from sekelmaan too. I appreciate the great tips!

                1. re: sekelmaan
                  Joe H RE: sekelmaan Sep 12, 2009 07:16 PM

                  They have the best crab cakes in the state of Maryland. Serious. Soup: ONLY the cream of crab which is outstanding. Their vegetable crab is disappointing.

                  1. re: Joe H
                    DanielK RE: Joe H Sep 12, 2009 07:54 PM

                    You've probably just missed the end of the season, but if they still have softies on the menu, they were spectacular earlier this year.

                    Try going at an off-hour, so you can get a seat on the water. Much better ambiance than the generic interior dining room.

                    1. re: DanielK
                      crackers RE: DanielK Sep 13, 2009 04:23 AM

                      The bbq quail over polenta as an app at the Narrows is quite good. If they still have their special - gazpacho with lump crab on top- that is wonderful too. They do a very creditable job with stuffed clams and with fried oysters. I happen to like oysters still almost-raw in the middle, so I always ask for them to be "barely done."

                      And for the best views, ask for a table out on the enclosed porch overhanging the water.

                2. re: Joe H
                  ktmoomau RE: Joe H Sep 14, 2009 06:54 AM

                  I second Passionfish- I really like their chowder, gumbo and tortilla soups.

                  I also really like the onion soup at Central. Bistro Bis' onion soup is pretty good too.

                  I think Marcel's has good lobster bisque, but I do think Citronelle's lobster bisque is better.

                  1. re: Joe H
                    monkeyrotica RE: Joe H Sep 15, 2009 05:33 AM

                    I'll have to try Eve's boulliabasse. But I always get their "OOO" soup (oyster, onion, osetra caviar). Obscenely rich. I miss the boullibasse at Au Pied de Cochon.

                    Menudo at La Mexicana Bakery and Taqueria
                    Kimchee soup at Myoung Dong, or indeed any of their hand-made noodle soups
                    "House Special Soup" from almost any Chinese carryout
                    Death by Gumbo at RT's. Their aligator stew reminds me of the turtle soup at Galatoire's.

                    1. re: monkeyrotica
                      sekelmaan RE: monkeyrotica Sep 15, 2009 06:16 AM

                      Wow. I never heard of RT's. That looks awesome. How is the rest of the food? I think I have to go today.

                      1. re: sekelmaan
                        monkeyrotica RE: sekelmaan Sep 15, 2009 07:11 AM

                        RT's is a cozy, unassuming little neighborhood cajun/creole place, but the cook knows how to make a foundation roux upon which to build a solid gumbo. Healthy portions at reasonable prices, particularly for lunch. Fried catfish, oyster and shrimp po boys, etouffee...I have yet to have a bad meal.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                          sekelmaan RE: monkeyrotica Sep 15, 2009 08:10 AM

                          Awesome. I am on my way.

                      2. re: monkeyrotica
                        NoVA RE: monkeyrotica Oct 4, 2009 12:45 PM

                        I second the Death by Gumbo at RT's. Wow! Great flavor, loaded with shrimp, crawfish tails, andouille, as well as oysters, and crabmeat. This is a dinner sized soup served alongside rice (i.e., in the same bowl). They also have a chicken and andouille gumbo in smaller cup/bowl options, but our waitress raved about the Death by Gumbo; it was a great recommendation!

                        1. re: NoVA
                          sekelmaan RE: NoVA Oct 4, 2009 12:50 PM

                          I tried it about a week ago myself. I also enjoyed it. Odd place though I thought.

                  2. a
                    Adam23 RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 01:00 PM

                    Anything Corduroy wants to make, or a nice veloute from Eve

                    1. Dennis S RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 01:53 PM

                      Sweet sour and spicy salmon soup at Nam Viet.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Dennis S
                        Dennis S RE: Dennis S Sep 25, 2009 07:56 PM

                        I forget the Hound to who I promised I would try Minh's, but wife and I had a date night that put us nearish Clarendon and I couldn't resist Nam Viet again. Boy - things have changed down there on the square (of course I've known of what's happened East of the square).

                        Anyway, food report. The salmon soup at Nam Viet was as good or better than ever before. The curried squid slid a tad - especially with the introduction of pineapple to the savory dish. It's rare that I like to mix savories and sweets and this dish doesn't need the sweets. It's minimal, and overall it was good.

                        The most promising part is that I went there 2-3 times shortly after the original owner died (Nguyen Van Thoi) and noticed a slight decline in the sauces. 1) the sauce for the curried squid is what makes it and 2) he apparently made the sauces himself.

                        So - on the whole, that location is doing well and my most loved two dishes in the area are as well.

                        I did notice that there's a Thoi carry-out or something they've got going. Anyone know anything about it?

                      2. s
                        sekelmaan RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 04:31 PM

                        This was my smartest idea ever. I am just going to have to print this list and try them all.

                        1. d
                          DCDeb RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 05:12 PM

                          Matzo ball soup at Parkway Deli.

                          1. g
                            Gigi007 RE: sekelmaan Sep 11, 2009 05:41 PM

                            Great topic, sekelman.

                            I'm a gazpacho fiend. Favorites include Taberna del Alabardero's and Le Pain Quotidien's classic versions.

                            I also like a good homemade lentil soup and matzoh ball soup too!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Gigi007
                              Joe H RE: Gigi007 Sep 11, 2009 05:52 PM

                              This past summer Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg had exemplery Gazpacho. They also do-an across the board excellent job with soup. Salads, too.

                              1. re: Joe H
                                Gigi007 RE: Joe H Sep 13, 2009 09:49 AM

                                Thanks, Joe. I don't get out to Leesburg much, but I'll keep that in mind. For now, I get my gazpacho fix at Le Pain Quotidien, sometimes at Taberna, and of course homemade gazpacho prepared by Spanish friends. :)

                            2. m
                              mnadel RE: sekelmaan Sep 13, 2009 08:08 PM

                              Mulligatawny soup at Tandoori Nights in Clarendon
                              Corn chowder at The Source
                              Spring garlic soup at Tosca (seasonal)

                              1. s
                                sweth RE: sekelmaan Sep 13, 2009 08:14 PM

                                Thai boat noodle soup at Sakulthai.

                                1. woodleyparkhound RE: sekelmaan Sep 14, 2009 06:41 AM

                                  When I find myself around Gallery Place with a yen for soup, I get the vegetable noodle (with fresh homemade noodles) at China Express, then I add generously from the little pots of condiments on the table. I find it to be a satisfying, healthy and cheap meal in a bowl.

                                  1. j
                                    jennwenn RE: sekelmaan Sep 14, 2009 05:15 PM

                                    Spicy Peanut Soup from Breadline! Mmmm. I wish I knew the recipe. I don't even know what regional cuisine its from...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jennwenn
                                      Jacey RE: jennwenn Sep 15, 2009 10:11 AM

                                      I like this too. I think it's African. You can google spicy peanut soup for a recipe.

                                    2. TheMatt RE: sekelmaan Sep 15, 2009 08:40 AM

                                      Seolleongtang, haejangguk, and samgyetang at Gamasot in Springfield. The first is mild and soothing, the second, hearty and filling, and the third the best chicken soup ever.

                                      All that plus banchan? Life is good.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: TheMatt
                                        sekelmaan RE: TheMatt Sep 25, 2009 02:08 PM

                                        So, me and the wife tried this place today. She had the dumpling and rice cake soup and I had the "chicken" soup. She had it with the clear broth and I had a creamier broth (due to rice I think). They stocks were both mild and flavorful, but required seasoning which was supplied by a bowl of very bitter salt and green onions on the table. The dumplings were delicious and hand made. The "chicken" soup is a whole stuffed cornish game hen. After a little doctoring, I absolutely loved it. The chicken meat comes with a little side of salt and pepper in which to dip the meat. And the table is laden with wonderful pickled and spicy sides to go with your meal.

                                        The staff was also great, showing us how to eat what and put it in which sauce. They were super.

                                        I couldn't resist the spicy goat soup so I got an order to taste and brought it home for dinner. It was nice as well, but not as rich as I would have expected. The spice came from a side plate with a mixture of sesame oil, chili paste, sesame seeds and scallions which was kind of mixed together and used to dip the goat meat in.

                                        The experience was great. I will return a lot to try other things, but it is one of my favorite ways of eating in which you get to play with your food and add this and add that make it your own.

                                        1. re: sekelmaan
                                          sweth RE: sekelmaan Sep 26, 2009 09:33 AM

                                          Gamasot is great for homey rustic soups, that are actually perfect for the kind of weather we're now starting to have. I may have to swing by there again soon after a summer of getting my soup on elsewhere.

                                          1. re: sweth
                                            sekelmaan RE: sweth Sep 26, 2009 09:36 AM

                                            I just had that left over goat soup for breakfast. Mmmm. Perfect.

                                            1. re: sekelmaan
                                              sweth RE: sekelmaan Sep 26, 2009 12:38 PM

                                              And I just got back from Gamasot, as the rain made a good soup imperative.

                                              Short shameful confession: I kind of want to go back again for dinner.

                                      2. s
                                        Soup RE: sekelmaan Sep 15, 2009 11:08 AM

                                        My favorite soups are the ones I make it home. oxtail is by far my favorite.

                                        I think the asian resturant around town do some solid soup. Couple places to check out...
                                        HaeJangguk @ Yachon
                                        Pho 75
                                        GamJaTang @GoYangJip chantilly

                                        Made two soups last night. Beef short rib and black bean soup. I think blk bean tonight and short rib stock will be used tomorrow night.


                                        1. m
                                          Mgolan RE: sekelmaan Sep 28, 2009 09:28 AM

                                          A great option for homemade soup is TheSouperGirl.com. This mother/daughter duo turns out one hearty and one appetizer a week (both vegetarian). There are pick-up spots all over the city and delivery for a small fee. I've already eaten crazy combos like african peanut vegetable stew and child hood favotrites like tomato and rice. Pretty Cheap and very delicious

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Mgolan
                                            Bonz RE: Mgolan Sep 29, 2009 09:36 AM

                                            Very delicious. I am a big Souper Girl fan. I can't say its cheap, however, and I do wish the weekly descriptions were more, well, descriptive (they are intended to be more humorous). But where else can you get home delivery of healthy & hearty soup made from fresh organic ingredients (gleaned from local farm markets) delivered right to my door?

                                          2. m
                                            MrsWheatie RE: sekelmaan Sep 29, 2009 09:48 AM

                                            Mr Wheatie loves the Floating Market Soup at Nava Thai

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: MrsWheatie
                                              Bonz RE: MrsWheatie Sep 29, 2009 10:58 AM

                                              In which case you should bring him to the springtime Songkran festival at Thai Wat in SSilver Spring. One vendoe there has Floating Market Soup as good as can be had in Bangkok. Nava Thai comes closes, to be sure, but is still a bit off-target to the sweeter side . . . . .

                                              1. re: Bonz
                                                MrsWheatie RE: Bonz Sep 29, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                Will let him know. Thanks!!!!

                                            2. g
                                              Gigi007 RE: sekelmaan Oct 4, 2009 04:02 PM

                                              If any of you soup lovers are familiar with my hood (Van Ness/Cleveland Park) and have any ideas re:restaurants that deliver soup, please post here:
                                              , http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/657005

                                              Thanks a lot!

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