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Long Island restaurants serving great soups

Soup isn't just a good way to warm up: It's an occasion for culinary artistry, and these are local masterpieces.

Avli (461 Hempstead Tpke, West Hempstead): Avgolemono, a heavenly Greek amalgamation of lemon and tempered eggs, is here augmented by a hearty amount of breast meat and contributions of carrots and orzo suspended in a thick and creamy velouté. (Other location at 2449 Jerusalem Ave., North Bellmore). More info: 516-564-7575 avligreek.com

NY Soup Exchange (945 Franklin Ave., Garden City): Ken Kaplan’s Galveston gumbo is as hearty as it gets. Expect bountiful portions of pork sausage and chicken to lose themselves in Cajun splendor and heat, assisted mightily by a buttery roux studded with onions and okra. You’ll find no better cure for the winter blues. Or blocked sinuses, for that matter. More info: 516-742-7687, nysoupexchange.com

Luso (133 W. Main St., Smithtown): Caldo verde, a Portuguese soup, is the very definition of rib-sticking, particularly at this churrasqueira, where the verde-ness comes not from kale but mellower collard greens, which join forces with an exceptionally creamy potato base, kicky vinegar, and a few thin slices of smoky chouriço scattered here and there. More info: 631-406-6820, lusorodizio.com

Los Andes (1844 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park): The seafood soup known as parihuela is the draw here. Finely crafted by a reverent kitchen, this version features shrimp, calamari, mussels and more, all soaking in a spicy fish stock so heavenly, you won’t leave a drop. (Other location at 275 E. Main St., Patchogue). More info: 631-392-1555

Pine Aire Fish & Deli (140 Pine Aire Dr., Bay Shore): At Pine Aire Fish & Deli, a Salvadoran seafood restaurant adjacent to a fish market, the two-meal-sized sopa de pescado comes with shrimp, a few clams and a whole red snapper in a heady brew, fragrant with cilantro. More info: 631-231-1655, pineairedeli.com

Little Mexico (3253 Horseblock Rd., Medford): At this supersized new Mexican restaurant in Medford (a younger-but-bigger sibling to the original Little Mexico in Middle Island), warm up with a bowl of pozole, the hearty soup made from a chili-rich broth, big hunks of pork and the eponymous pozole (hominy), kernels of corn that have been plumped and tenderized by a soak in a mild lye solution. More info: 631-730-8199

Saigon Casa (4747 Nesconset Hwy., Port Jefferson Station): In addition to a fine, fragrant pho, Saigon Casa makes the great noodle soup from the north Vietnamese city of Hue, bun bo Hue. It starts with pho broth that is fortified with chili paste, fermented shrimp paste and various bits and bobs of meat. The noodles for bun bo Hue are, as in pho, made with rice, but they are much thicker — almost as thick as Japanese udon — which suits the soup’s robust character. More info: 631-509-1000

Bigelow’s (79 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre): While fried clams take center stage at this South Shore stalwart, in-the-know customers commence with clam chowder. The white is all creamy New England luxuriance while the red is that rare bird, a Manhattan clam chowder that doesn't taste like minestrone with a few clams thrown in. Don't care for clams? The suave seafood bisque features crab, shrimp and scallops. More info: 516-678-3878, bigelows-rvc.com

Yamaguchi (49 Main St., Port Washington): Among the classics at this long-standing Japanese restaurant is nabeyaki udon, thick wheat noodles in a crystal-clear broth along with chunks of chicken, shrimp tempura, sliced fish cakes, scallions and shiitake mushrooms. Thanks to its cast-iron pot, the soup stays hot for as long as it takes you to finish it. More info: 516-883-3500, restaurantyamaguchi.com

Dun Huang (8 Cold Spring Rd., Syosset): This new restaurant specializes in the hand-pulled wheat noodles of the Gansu province in Northwest China. The signature dish here is Lanzhou beef noodles, named for the province’s capital, which features noodles in a beef broth slicked with a layer of chili oil, along with slices of beef tendon and radish. Noodles are also available extra-thin, wide and extra wide. More info: 516-921-7060, dunhuangfood.com

Compiled by Erica Marcus and Scott Vogel

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