Asian soups: 3 picks

Yao's Diner in Centereach. (Feb.16, 2012)

Yao's Diner in Centereach. (Feb.16, 2012) (Credit: Doug Young)

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Soup just might be the most versatile food, even in the hottest weather. It can precede a meal or -- remember the "Seinfeld" argument? -- even qualify as one. Some of the world's most appealing soups come from Asia. Here are a few local places where you can sample them:

IZUMI
440 N. Wantagh Ave., Bethpage
516-933-7225, izumifood.com

At this Japanese-Asian restaurant, it's both the size and the delicacy of the mini wontons in the savory wonton soup that set it apart from the rest.

YUMMY SUSHI
95 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station
631-673-8888, yummyfoodhuntington.com

The name of this bowl says it all: "well being soup." What you get is a Korean rice porridge filled with fresh vegetables and pine nuts. Try some and feel renewed.

YAO'S DINER
2503 Middle Country Rd., Centereach
631-588-2218

At this ultra-authentic Chinese eatery, opened by a Stony Brook University student eager for a taste of home, the West Lake beef soup feeds at least two. Its texture is slightly glutinous, but appealingly so. One sip unleashes bursts of flavor.

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