9 Refreshing, Must-Try Summer Soups in DC

By Olga Boikess  |  July 2, 2014

A surprising variety of gazpachos and savory fruit soups are being ladled out at top restaurants this season. Chefs are making the most of summer’s bounty, constantly changing their offerings to use whatever local farmers bring them that week. The resulting bowls are a refreshing, hydrating and healthful way to cool off these hot, muggy days. Here are some intriguing examples of this cool trend.

  • Central: Yellow Gazpacho ($17)

    The Dish: Yellow tomato and cucumber gazpacho is poured over burrata mozzarella that sits atop a garnish of diced tomatoes, cucumber and croutons.

    Good to Know: Michel Richard often changes the burrata presentation.

    1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-626-0015

  • Blue Duck Tavern: Melon Gazpacho ($12)

    The Dish: This fruity take on gazpacho is made with cantaloupe, country ham and sparked with pickled wax peppers, anise hyssop and cucumber blossoms.

    Good to Know:  Chef Sebastian Archambault explains that melons work the same way as the more traditional tomatoes for gazpachos that are “sweet, light and full or water.” And, he tells us, “anise hyssop is actually in the same family as mint,” a classic pairing with melons.

    1201 24 St. NW; 202-419-6755

  • Fiola: White Gazpacho

    The Dish: Cucumbers, marcona almonds, grapes and extra virgin olive oil are blended and garnished with smoked salmon and fresh dill.

    Good to Know: Although a seasonal gazpacho is always on the menu at Fiola, this preparation is offered on the lunchtime Maria Menu (three courses for $28).

    601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-628-2888

  • Lupo Verde: Zuppa Rustica ($10)

    The Dish: Red peppers, oven-roasted tomatoes, red wine marinated cucumbers, parsley, chives and red wine vinaigrette are combined for a soup that is topped with spiced ricotta and garlic croutons.

    Good to Know: This cold gazpacho-like soup comes from a southern Italian recipe.

    1401 T St. NW; 202-827-4752

  • Mintwood Place: Cucumber and Watercress Gazpacho ($14)

    The Dish: A creamy blend of the vegetables is poured over a ring of lime-spiked crab salad, avocado and red onion.

    Good to Know: Chef Cedric Maupillier adds a Gallic touch to gazpacho with crème fraiche and cream cheese.

     1813 Columbia Rd. NW; 202-234-6734

  • Ripple: Saffron Cauliflower Soup ($8)

    The Dish: Chilled cauliflower soup is flavored with saffron and garnished with trout roe, cucumber and radish.

    Good to Know: Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley sources a rich Greek yogurt for the soup, and sometimes uses crab meat. She explains, "I like the combo of seafood and saffron, and it will play nicely off the cauliflower."

    3417 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-244-7995

  • 701: Chilled Corn Soup ($10)

    The Dish: Corn, onions and garlic are simmered in a roasted corn stock. Buttermilk sorbet, bacon and pickled cherry tomatoes are the garnishes.

    Good to Know: Chef Benjamin Lambert roasts the cobs in the oven to make a stock base for the soup.

    701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-393-0701

  • Teddy & The Bully Bar: Chilled Pineapple Soup ($10)

    The Dish: Charred pineapple is used as the base of the savory soup. It's spiked with jalapeno croutons and a lobster ceviche.

    Good to Know: Chef Demetrio Zavala recounts that “the inspiration behind the pineapple soup is from my vacation in Hawaii and how the Hawaiian people always ate the pineapples with salt.”

    1200 19th St. NW; 202-872-8700

  • Vidalia: Sun Drop Lemon Soup ($17)

    The Dish: Lemon drop melons are used for the chilled soup that’s garnished with peekytoe crab, avocado mousseline, heirloom tomato, country ham and watermelon.

    Good to Know: Lemon drop melons have a sweet flavor profile similar to a galia melon but with a tart lemon finish. Chef Hamilton Johnson explains that the contrasting flavors of sweet fruit and savory ingredients with hints of acid work very well in a chilled soup.

    1990 M St. NW; 202-659-1990