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Best Homemade Soup 

Zand's

Maybe you think soup isn't for summer. Think twice — or thrice, in Zand's case. A good bowl of soup, made in-house by owner Monier Attar, is refreshing and light for lunch or dinner. Zand's has three choices, each suited to a different fan base. The vegan alternative is ashe mast (ashe means soup in Farsi), marrying lentils, vegetables, herbs, and rice. Add yogurt if you do dairy. Ashe reshteh uses wide noodles, beans, dill, spinach, and yogurt. Every bowl is slightly different — a few more noodles, a different mix of beans or, our favorite, lots of yogurt to deliver a tasty sour tang. Chicken dill, understated yet full of flavor, contains more dill than the noodle version, large shreds of excellent chicken, and lots of barley. The first two soups are $3.99 for a cup, $4.99 for a bowl, while the chicken version adds a buck to both. Don't pass up Zand's homemade dolmas (only 45 cents for a packed-full, non-oily morsel) or the silky almond and pistachio baklava, $3 for a large slice.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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