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Sep 11, 2009 11:52 AM

Soup!!! Gotta have it!

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. the avgolemno at greek deli.

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

      19 Replies
      1. re: mjhals

        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

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

          No, really.

          No, really.

          1. re: DanielK

            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

              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

            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


              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

                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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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.

                      2. re: monkeyrotica

                        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

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

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

                    1. Sweet sour and spicy salmon soup at Nam Viet.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Dennis S

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