Top 5 Cold Soups in Houston

At first it seems counterintuitive; soup is supposed to warm, comforting, steaming from a mug, a cold-and-flu cure, a liquid manifestation of love from somebody's mom or grandma -- not served in a chilled wide-lipped bowl, cool on the tongue or cold running down the back of your throat. But hot-as-heck Houston weather makes cold soups like gazpacho just as much a comfort as hot soups are in the wintertime. Refreshing and usually pretty good for you, cold soups are easy to make at home, but there are also plenty of Houston restaurants serving up the good stuff. Here are a few of our favorites -- where do you go for cold soup?

5. Catalan (5555 Washington Ave.) The local tomato gazpacho comes in three sizes: shot ($3), cup ($5) or bowl ($9). Might as well order something off of the spectacular wine list while you're at it.

4. Feast (219 Westheimer Road) Feast is certainly not the first place that would come to mind in a word-association with "gazpacho," but we can attest that its version is extremely tasty and, like all of Feast's food, comes in an extremely generous portion.

3. Haven (2502 Algerian Way) Haven's menu changes, but the soup of the day is lately a chilled version, like the zucchini variety with crème fraiche we had the other day. Call ahead to investigate: 713-581-6101.

2. Zelko Bistro (705 East 11th Street) Zelko's soup of the day also has lately been a cool choice: watermelon gazpacho. Light and sweet without being cloying, it's worth seeking out when on the menu: 713-880-8691.

1. Tinto's (2015 W. Gray) The Midtown tapas bar offers a choice from three cold soups: roasted tomato, ajo blanco (white garlic), or cucumber and melon. Tinto's also offers plenty of other small bites to pair with your soup.

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Nishta Mehra