Six soups found around Ashburn to keep you warm all winter

Super Soups!
Story and photos by Chris Wadsworth

When the winter winds start to blow and the temperatures drop, my thoughts always turn to soups and stews. It’s one of the four main food groups on my own personal food pyramid. (The others being cheese, pretzels and fried chicken. I’m kind of a health nut.)

I enjoy making homemade soups – a cream of mushroom is my specialty. And at local restaurants, I have been known to skip a big burger or steak and make a meal out of a bowl of soup, stew or even chili. (Sorry, servers, I’ll make it up in the tip.) 

With that in mind, your trusty magazine editor went out in search of some soups at Ashburn restaurants that you should consider trying when you need to warm up during our chilly winter months.  


Mulligatawny Soup
Saffron Indian Cuisine
43170 Southern Walk Plaza 

Mulligatawny soup originated in southern India. The delicious version served at Saffron features yellow lentils, black peppercorn, garlic and ginger as its primary ingredients.

“Especially good in winter, our mulligatawny is a hot, spicy soup that will clear your nose and throat,” said Saffron’s owner, Shankar Puthran. “Ours isn’t overly spicy – we don’t go overboard with the spice because some people don’t like it. But in India, it can be very spicy.” 

Editor’s review: One of my favorites in Ashburn, this creamier version of mulligatawny will open your eyes without making them water. 


Avgolemono Soup
Mediterranean Breeze
20693 Ashburn Road  

Avgolemono soup is sometimes known as egg lemon soup. It features fresh chicken broth, orzo pasta, egg and lemon and is famous on the mainland and the many islands of Greece. 

“We call it the ‘miracle soup,’” said Terry Kasotakis, who opened Mediterranean Breeze in 2004. “If you have a cold or stomach pain – with some of this soup, it’s done. You don’t even have to go to the doctor.” 

Editor’s review: It has just enough citrus tang to be unique while still providing the comfort of a gentle chicken noodle soup.


Thukpa Noodle Soup
Roadhouse Momo & Grill
44050 Ashburn Shopping Plaza, No. 151 

Thukpa is a hearty noodle soup from the Himalayan region. The thukpa at Roadhouse Momo & Grill comes in a chicken version, a water buffalo version and a veggie version. We tried the chicken thukpa, and it came heaped with noodles, onions, chickpeas and more. 

“Thukpa is a dish from the north. It originated in Tibet, but when it migrated to Nepal, different regions added different ingredients,” said Sid Kafle, a manager at Roadhouse Momo & Grill. “Our cuisine is from Kathmandu, so ours is kind of like a wintery comfort food.” 

Editor’s review: A new favorite. The flavors – including some aromatic curry – blend perfectly. I will come back for this one.


Green Chile Pork Stew
44305 Ice Rink Plaza 

Anita’s specializes in cuisine from New Mexico, and what could be more New Mexican than the “green chile,” which is a pepper more properly known as the New Mexico chile. The Green Chile Pork Stew might more accurately be dubbed a “st-oup” – halfway between a chunkier stew and a brothier soup. 

“We have different soups – a chicken, a posole and the green chile stew,” said Anita’s manager  Miriam Guerrero. “Personally, I like the posole the best, but customers always like the stew. They say it’s delicious.” 

Editor’s review: You can taste the green chile right away – there’s a little bite to the broth – and large chunks of roasted pork and potatoes are hidden under the surface. Plus the fried dough sopapillas were a bonus.


Galangal (Tom Kha Gai)
Sense of Thai St.
20413 Exchange St.

This soup is perhaps best known by some variation of the name Tom Kha Gai, a Thai coconut chicken soup. At Sense of Thai St. in One Loudoun, it’s also called Galangal, which is a spice from the galangal root somewhat similar to ginger. Other ingredients include mushrooms, cilantro and scallions. 

“It’s a traditional Thai soup,” said Sense of Thai St. manager Ratthanon Sungdee. “It’s the most popular one. It comes with coconut milk, and people love it. It makes it creamy.” 

Editor’s review: Sipping on the milky broth of this soup is like settling in under a blanket on a cold winter’s day. I would describe it as cozy. And the meat and veggies are filling.


Potato Leek Soup
Finnegan’s Grill & Irish Pub
44050 Ashburn Village Blvd., No. 199  

Potato leek soup has a bit of an identity crisis. Its roots are reportedly in France, but then again Ireland is known for its potatoes, and potato leek soup has appeared on many a pub menu on the Emerald Isle. At Finnegan’s, the soup is served during the fall and winter as a puree of potato, leeks, onions and celery. 

“A lot of customers don’t realize it’s house-made. We make it from scratch,” said Olivia Dereggi, a server at Finnegan’s. “The staff loves it. I have it for lunch every day.” 

Editor’s review: Thick and creamy and a bit cheesy, the Finnegan’s version is a longtime favorite, like sitting down with an old friend.