December 16, 2003
Laurence, one of my best friends, works at the Opéra Bastille, and sometimes has to work Saturdays. She had joined me a few times for lunch close to my office, so I decided to return the favor, and met her during her lunch break this past Saturday. We had an hour, so fast food was the way to go. In its healthy trendy Parisian version of course!
Le Bar à Soupes, as the name implies, serves mostly soup. You can buy it to take away or sit in the tiny restaurant, like we did. It offers a daily selection of six flavors, comfortingly classic or wonderfully inventive, prepared with seasonal products supplied by a local producer (a Mr Démerisse). The soups are accompanied with little loaves of bread (plain, sesame or poppyseed) made by the organic baker Moisan (just like at R'Aliment). They also serve cheese or charcuteries plates, as well as a few simple desserts.
Their 9 euro menu gets you a steaming bowl of soup, a glass of wine or a coffee, and either a cheese plate or a dessert. I had the Bloody Mary soup (a spicy tomato soup) and a cheese/charcuterie plate (tomme de Savoie and goat cheese). Laurence went for the velvet pumpkin soup and a slice of chocolate cake. A very satisfying lunch : the soups were flavorful, the cheese high-quality, the bread excellent and the chocolate cake nicely moist.
The other soup choices that day were : mixed vegetables, carrot and cilantro, lentil and bacon, cauliflower and blue cheese, and cream of mushroom. We left our email addresses in the little tin bucket, to get notified about the rotating weekly selection. And this week's menu looks very promising : lime and coconut milk pink lentil soup, oriental chickpea soup, ginger and citrus carrot soup, red bellpepper and corn soup, mint and green pea soup - just to name a few! Inspiring, is it not?
I also saw at the bookstore that the owner, Anne-Catherine Bley, has written a small cookbook called "Soupes du Jour". It offers thirty of the restaurant's most popular recipes, and is published by the excellent cookbook publisher Marabout.
Le bar à soupes
33 rue de Charonne
01 43 57 53 79
Dinner at El Bulli