This is about the time of the year when winter has officially worn out its welcome. The charm of the holidays has waned, and we all know there’s at least another month of blustery winds and dark, chilly days. Even though this season hasn’t been particularly snowy, we could all benefit from a restorative and comforting bowl of soup. Here are seven refined options to sample around town:
The soup: Roman-style stracciatella
The scoop: That’s right, stracciatella isn’t just the name of a super-delicious gelato flavor. It’s also a traditional Italian version of egg-drop soup, this one flavored with chicken broth, parmesan and lemon zest. It’s both simple and comforting, and can be found at this newly opened Van Ness spot from Fiola owners Maria and Fabio Trabocchi.
4445 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-450-1312
Joselito Casa de Comida
The soup: Consomé de pollo con chorizo y hierbabuena
The scoop: This is another upscale version of a humble hometown dish. The soup is a favorite among Spanish children — and used as a reliable hangover cure for grown-ups. Here, the broth receives a dramatic tableside presentation that involves a coffee siphon and a blowtorch and is poured over chorizo, a raw egg, spearmint, noodles and carrots.
660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-930-6955
The soup: Rustic potato and kabocha squash chowder
The scoop: Chef Todd Gray regularly creates vegan spins on well-known dishes for his wife (and Equinox co-owner), Ellen, and this was his way of satisfying her craving for New England clam chowder. He uses local turmeric for color, flavor and its reported healing properties and added kabocha for sweetness.
818 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-331-8118
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
The soup: Pumpkin soup with ginger coconut milk and crispy shallots
The scoop: Pretty much everyone has a pumpkin or winter squash soup on the menu this time of year, so it’s refreshing to see one given a flavor upgrade with Southeast Asian ingredients. The soup is poured tableside over the crispy shallots, fresh herbs and a ginger coconut milk “espuma.”
2007 18th St. NW; 202-588-7388
The soup: Truffled cannellini bisque with jalapeño cornbread and charred onion
The scoop: There’s bean soup — and then there’s chef Joe Palma bean soup, which is clearly next-level. The Four Seasons Hotel dining room is definitely a treat yo’self experience, so why not order this truffle-gilded bowl of yum that might make all other versions pale in comparison? BTW, it’s vegetarian.
2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-944-2026
The soup: Pozole
The scoop: Chef Jammir Gray has made this version of the rich Mexican soup in kitchens from San Francisco to Chicago, from Philadelphia to DC. She uses pork broth and dried oregano to deepen the flavor of the broth, along with pork shoulder, hominy, red cabbage, cilantro and tortilla strips. (You should also try the pozole rojo at El Sol www.elsol-dc.com in Shaw, if you’re in the neighborhood.)
1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-861-1310
The soup: Onion Soup Gratinée
The scoop: I’m sure it comes as no surprise that you can order a crock of French onion soup at a French restaurant, but this is one of those soups that inspires intense cravings — and if you’ve got a hankering for it, this is where you should get it. Chef Michael Abt tops chicken and veal stock and caramelized onions with slices of housemade baguette capped with melted provolone, gruyere and grana padano cheese.
1601 14th St. NW; 202-332-3333