The culinary equivalent of a piping-hot bath, a good bowl of soup can warm you to the core. Grab a spoon and dip into the city’s best bowls, culled from The Washington Post's six-year archive of the best eats. Happy slurping.
Vegetable ramen at Daikaya
Ramen purists might scoff at the thought of a broth without pork, but they've probably never had chef Katsuya Fukushima's vegan ramen. To make the dish, Fukushima tosses shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, leeks and onions into a wok for a pitch-perfect sauté. The vegetables are piled on top of chewy noodles and a rich broth made of shiitake mushrooms, seaweed extract and pepper.
$13.75. 705 Sixth St. NW. 202-589-1600.
Avgolemono at Greek Deli
Though avgolemono is technically a sauce and not a soup, this dish at Greek Deli is prepared as the latter. Owner and chef Kostas Fostieris incorporates the egg- and lemon-based sauce into his hearty chicken soup. The hint of lemon is so delicate that it comes across more like candied fruit than abrasive citrus.
$5.25. 1120 19th St. NW. 202-296-2111.
Spicy beef noodle soup at A&J
A&J’s beef broth is made with anise, chile bean sauce and Sichuan peppercorns. The combination creates a deep, nearly black blend of aromatic flavor. It’s laced with ribbons of the Taiwanese restaurant’s signature hand-pulled noodles. Douse the soup with Sichuan chile oil and tack on mustard greens and scallion pancakes to your order for the ultimate bite.
$9.49. 1319 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 4316 Markham St., Annandale.
Sapporo-style shoyu ramen at Ren’s Ramen
This Wheaton ramen shop serves a soy-sauce-rich shoyu stock typically found throughout Tokyo. To make it, the chef stir-fries ground pork, garlic and shoyu spices in scallion oil, then ladles a pork-based broth onto noodles imported from Japan.
$11. 11403 Amherst Ave., Wheaton.
Pho with steak at Pho 75
The steak pho at Pho 75 — which has been on the menu since 1985 — is known for its complexity, thanks in part to a heavy dose of onion, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. The pho is steeped with herbs and beef for hours before being served over rice noodles. Load it up with bean sprouts, basil and jalapeño slices.
$6.20. 1721 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703-525-7355.
Tom yum noodle soup at Thai Cuisine
This rice noodle soup is packed with so many ingredients your taste buds won’t know which way to turn. The broth is swimming with ground pork, fish balls, dried squid, fish sauce, crushed peanuts, pickled jalapeños and chili powder. A fried wonton garnish adds crunch to your bowl.
$9.95. 757 Hungerford Dr., Rockville. 301-838-4480.
Khao soi gai at Baan Thai
At the heart of this soup is a house-made curry paste prepared by pounding together shrimp paste, turmeric, ginger, black cardamom, dry chiles and shallots. The funk creeps into every corner of the dish, combining with the coconut milk, fish sauce and palm sugar to heighten the pleasures of the chicken thighs and egg noodles.
$15. 1326 14th St. NW. 202-588-5889.