In this late-summer heat, seek relief by the spoonful. From cooling cucumber to strawberry gazpacho, click through the slideshow to see what's on the menu at ABV, the NoMad, Colonie, and more.
This story appeared in the August 6, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.
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Corn, Parish Hall
A pea soup and an asparagus-with-candied-rhubarb have already come and gone on the rapidly changing menu; don’t miss the creamy corn purée, garnished with blackberries and given an acidic bite with fruit vinegar made by a monk upstate. $8; 109 N. 3rd St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg; 718-782-2602. (See the Listing)
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Beet Gazpacho, Mile End Sandwich
Almost applesauce-like in consistency, Mile End’s gazpacho has a rich and earthy flavor that pairs well with the crispy shallots and slightly spicy salsa verde that top each bowl. $7; 53 Bond St., nr. Bowery; 212-529-2990.
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Gem Lettuce, Gwynnett St.
Justin Hilbert first plates the bowl with edible flowers and market greens, salmon roe, and shavings of cured egg yolk, a component that really shows off the chef’s background as a wd-50 cook. Poured tableside, the liquified lettuce is astringent, herbal, and refreshing. $11; 312 Graham Ave., nr. Ainslie St., Williamsburg; 347-889-7002. (See the Listing)
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Sour Cherry, Andre’s Café
During the summer, order a bowl of this old-world-grandma-style soup at one of Yorkville’s Hungarian holdouts. Tart and sweet, with notes of clove and cinnamon, it’s fairly brimming with plump fruit. $7; 1631 Second Ave., nr. 84th St.; 212-327-1105.
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Strawberry Gazpacho, The NoMad
Duck prosciutto, black pepper, fresh basil, and slicks of olive oil mark the surface, and partially dehydrated Tristar strawberries, with a chewy texture that matches the cured meat, add concentrated flavor. $15; 1170 Broadway, nr. 28th St.; 212-796-1500. (See the Listing)
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The bold and juicy base is not unlike a melted Popsicle, and mouthfuls incorporating creamy Greek yogurt, the burn of mustard seed, and a peppery crunch of thin radish slices are particularly pleasant. $12; 127 Atlantic Ave., nr. Henry St., Brooklyn Heights; 718-855-7500. (See the Listing)
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Bi Bim Nang Myun, You-Chun
This 24-hour Korean spot is the Queens go-to for chewy arrowroot noodles and fresh vegetables in a frozen broth that, as it melts, releases a spicy-chile heat. Let your waiter snip the noodles with scissors, or you’ll be slurping three-foot-long beasts. $11; 156-03 Northern Blvd., Murray Hill; 718-461-6511.
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Summer Soup, ABV
Corey Cova blends tomato and potato in a two-in-one soup he’s unofficially dubbed “topato.” It’s seasoned with Tabasco, Sriracha, and wasabi, dotted with edamame, and finished with a dab of smoked ricotta. $8; 1504 Lexington Ave., at 97th St.; 212-722-8959. (See the Listing)
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Sweet Fermented-Rice Egg-Drop Soup, Biang!
This frequent finale to Chinese New Year celebrations isn’t for everyone: The rice’s yeasty tang can be startling to an untrained palate. But if you’re up for an unusual dish, it’s the perfect end to an adventurous meal. $2.50; 41-10 Main St., Flushing; 718-888-7713.
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Borscht, Kutsher’s Tribeca
While Mile End leaves the beets in its gazpacho chunky and just barely puréed, Kutsher’s pummels the sweet root vegetables into a smooth and succulent soup; ribbons of cucumber and Swiss chard add a crunchy note. $10; 186 Franklin St., nr. Greenwich St.; 212-431-0606. (See the Listing)