I feel incredibly fortunate that my two grown children live nearby in DC. I am aware that it may not be a permanent situation, so I treasure our times together in a way that they can’t begin to understand. Neither one of my kids are going to say no if we offer to take them out for a meal. For the past couple of years my daughter has only eaten out in Kosher restaurants, so there are limitations. Nevertheless, there are options, including Max’s Kosher Cafe in Wheaton. In fact, their schwarma is one of my favorite dishes in the entire area.
We decide it’s time to try someplace different. I suggest meeting at the relatively new Soupergirl, a small cafe in Takoma Park. It’s certified kosher for my daughter and husband, vegan for my son, and well there’s soup for me.
My husband and I enter the cute and cozy Soupergirl, where our kids have been waiting for us for no more than three minutes.
“You’re late,” my son says impatiently.
“Mom, why do you look so excited to see us? We just saw you a week ago,” remarks my daughter. (Actually it’s been two weeks.)
“Because you’re my kids.” I reply. “I’m always happy to see you.” Sigh.
The manager, standing directly behind us at the register, is finding this scene amusing. We’re taking up space in the small restaurant, so it’s time to stop the sentimental familial greetings and get down to business.
Soupergirl is a no-frills kind of place, a brick and mortar outgrowth of a successful soup delivery service. Being green is an essential part of the business. According to the website: We here at Soupergirl are souper-focused (yes, we enjoy making soup puns…) on being an environmentally and socially responsible company….We are passionate about eating locally.
Local is good, kosher is great, we are in.
The menu is a focused one. There is soup, bread (brought in from nearby Breadsmith), and a few side dishes. On this Sunday afternoon, there are three types of fresh soup (soups rotate weekly), with an option for a large bowl or a sampler with two smaller bowls. There are chunky soups and pureed soups. I can’t make up my mind, so the sampler wins.
I begin with the black bean chili with sweet potatoes. This hearty soup is a combination of black beans, sweet potatoes, and spices including chili powder, cumin, and smokey chipotle chile. Lime and cilantro round out the flavors. The sweet potatoes add a unique note to the Latin ingredients. Nicely done.
My second choice is Tunisian chickpea soup which combines chickpeas, lentils, and Israeli couscous with turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, and Spanish smoked paprika. The flavors are a bit more mellow compared to the chili. I add homemade “souper croutons” for some extra crunch. This is a filling and satisfying soup.
Soupergirl also offers a variety of side salads. The Asian Coleslaw is packing some heat (chili and cayenne peppers) along with some sweet (brown sugar). It’s nice to balance out the hot soup with some cool, fresh slaw. Beet salad completes our meal, combining golden beets, Chioggia beets, and Detroit red beets with dill. I would not consider a return trip to Soupergirl without sampling – and bringing home- more of the delicious sides.
We take home some leftover beet salad, along with a pint of Sweet N’ Tart Butternut squash soup, so that we can prolong the enjoyment. We think this creamy, tangy soup is a real winner. All four of us are impressed by a souperb lunch.
After lunch, we take advantage of the beautiful weather and wander through Takoma Park’s vintage shops and boutiques. I’m particularly taken with a store called Trohv (as in treasure trove). I haven’t been to Takoma Park in well over a year, and it feels like we are on a mini-vacation.
Soup is a well-known comfort food, and Soupergirl is most certainly an adept provider. I am disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Soupergirl’s owner/chef Sara Polon during our visit. I admire her passion to be green in all aspects of her business, and I am grateful that she has gone the extra mile to be certified Kosher. Plus, she gave my family an opportunity to spend a few hours together doing what we do best: eating and shopping. She’s definitely my new souperhero.
Soupergirl, 314 Carroll Street, NW, Washington, DC (across from Takoma Park metro) Closed Saturdays.
Check out the website for delivery locations and soupsubscriptions.
My rating (on a 1-5 scale): 4