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Working as I do in the culinary desert near Union Station, I've been glad to frequent the newly opened Toscana cafe. Now the colder weather is upon us I've been enjoying their soups recently too. Last week's Fennel really hit the spot and this week it is a lovely creamy winter squash soup.

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the newly opened Toscana cafe. . . a lovely creamy winter squash soup.

Tried this on Tuesday and it was killer!!

In the Farragut Square area, the soups I like are at the Greek Deli (Lentil and Lemon Chicken), Pret a Manager (Lentil and 3 others), and Teaism (Lentil). Breadline and G Street Foods have good soups.

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Winter is on the way. Where do you go to warm up with a great bowl of soup?

Steady rain, if light. Blustery--the sort of day that Mary Poppins arrives bundled in Gore-Tex, down vest and transfomer mittens whose knitted domes slip off to become gloves minus the fingertips.

Fourth layer of one's own clothing no longer quite enough, time to fetch wool scarf and hat. Then you discover someone stole your lunch.

Ten minutes later, the bag that probably looked more like a purse than an insulated lunchbox turns up on a ledge down the street, zipped open by a disappointed thief who pilfers only the peanut & apple butter sandwich, leaving behind the useful, metal waterbottle, organic carrot sticks and gorgeous slices of Gold Rush apple.

Time for something warm and comforting.

Listed under "Side Dishes", the curried lentil soup at Teaism is absolutely perfect. It's served as a creamy purée that isn't so smooth that it loses substance. Drizzle of yogurt streaks down the center with drop of scented oil and herbal green. Paper bag of charred, orange pappadam bits.

Also love their udon noodle soup and the ochazuke comes recommended.

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My recent positive soup experiences have been:

- Mandoo (Korean dumpling) soup at Arisu, a Korean restaurant in Upper Georgetown (IMHO, it is outstanding)

- Simply Azyzen's udon noodle soup

- Cosi's tomato basil soup and New England clam chowder

- La Chaumiere's French onion soup

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Cha Su Ramen at Temari Cafe {even thought I ordered the Tonkatsu}

Ramen was mushy, toppings only soso but the broth was superb. Soft, throat coating and very nicely balanced.

Really interesting thread and I am about to blow my credibility but the Wegman's in Fairfax (ONLY Fairfax-NO other Wegman's-I've looked!) has what they call "premium soups." There are two and they are expensive, i.e. $7.95 for 16 ounces. One is less than mediocre-cream of crab. (Repeat, you will be disappointed in it!) But the other, I swear, is remarkably good, perhaps as good as one would find at a Sietsema three star : butternut squash. I've had this four times now and only once have I made it home with it. The other three I have slurped down in the parking lot. You can also eat this in Wegman's sitting at the adjacent counter.

Again, it is ONLY, repeat ONLY the Fairfax Wegman's and their "premium" soups where someone stands astride two huge stockpots and ladels the soup into containers while you wait. Leesburg, Dulles and Fredericksburg all carry soup, of course, but none of them have "premium soup."

Butternut squash. Of course @ $7.95 for 16 ounces it SHOULD be good. And it is.

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