Parmesan soup from ‘l’ami Jean’
Last friday I was in Paris for the week-end. A bit of business and a lot of pleasure. What a better way to start a Friday night than with a dinner at one of my favourite bistrots in Paris, l’ami Jean. I can’t tell you how much I love this place. Not only is the chef Stéphane Jégo a friend, but he is also a genius in the kitchen. His cuisine matches my taste. He cooks in the true bistrot way, which is, in my opinion, gastronomy without the ‘chichi‘. At l’ami Jean, you dine on wooden rustic tables, the room feels like a tavern, you can see, feel and hear the chef. The heat and wine flatter my cheeks, and yes, I feel full and happy when the meal is finished. That’s how I like to eat, enjoying the food, the quality, the atmosphere and the talent. You can just go there for a drink and a charcuterie plate, or have a culinary feast.
When I lived in Paris, I was a regular at l’ami Jean, a few steps away from the Eiffel tower. Not only was it a street away from my apartment, but I also met Stéphane on a daily basis outside our kid’s school as his daughter was in the same class as mine. While waiting for our kids, Stéphane would talk about his latest dishes, making me hungry as a wolf by 11:45 am. At l’ami Jean, you instantly feel the strength in the kitchen. The high-powered energy, fuelled by the rugged Breton Stéphane, makes this place a tour de force.
There’s nothing more comforting than finding out that the soup you had once upon a ‘memory‘ is still on the menu. I am talking about the famous Parmesan soup, a must-have at l’ami Jean. I just had to order it once again, this very rich and decadent soup filled with bits of deliciousness – shallots, chives, croûtons and bacon sitting impatiently at the bottom of a soup dish, ready to be immersed in a velvety and creamy Parmesan ‘émulsion’, as Stéphane calls it. What can you say when a soup hits all the right notes? C’est si bon!
Stéphane was kind enough to share this recipe. As soon as we were back home in Médoc, I found myself making the soup for lunch. The kids loved it so much at the restaurant, and wanted to know if I could re-create it at home. It was so good, so delicious, I think I’ll be making it again for Christmas. Merci Stéphane! I feel like I have Paris on a plate again.
L’ami Jean, 27 rue Malar, 75007, Paris France.
Ingredients: (Serves a very generous 4-6)
2 onions (coarsely chopped)
50 g/ 1/4 cup unsalted butter
200 g/ 1/2 pound parmesan (sliced)
1 liter/ 1 quart chicken stock
2 liters/ 2 quarts cream
1 liter/ 1 quart milk
50 g/ 1/3 cup bacon (finely chopped)
10 branches of chives (finely chopped)
1 shallot (finely chopped)
2 tbsp croûtons (fry some diced small cubes of country bread in olive oil until golden)
Salt and pepper (for seasoning)
Coarsely chop the onions. Melt the butter in a large pot, add the onions and fry on a low heat for 10 minutes.
Add 150 g of sliced parmesan, chicken stock, milk and cream. Simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop finely the bacon. Fry for 5 minutes until crispy. Seta side. Finely chop the chives, shallots (as fine as possible). Set aside.
When the soup is ready, add the remaining sliced parmesan. Simmer for a further 10 minutes. Mix in a food processor, and strain through a sieve. Season with salt and pepper. Keep the soup warm.
Place the shallots, chives, croûtons and bacon in a soup dish, serve soup immediately.
it all sounds so wonderful. I love how a spot can inspire one to bring a taste home. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
4 liters of liquids???
Bonsoir! Yes, 4 liters sound like a lot, but Stéphane’s recipes are very generous. I was very happy (so were the kids) to have a whole jug of left-over soup for the next day. Mimi
wow this sounds so good, would love to make it soon. merci beaucoup for sharing this recipe, mimi 🙂
this sounds fantastic for winter. thanks for sharing the recipe (to stephane too!)!
Oh my! This soup sounds amazing! My children’s favourite cheese has always been parmesan. 1/2 pound!! – Yes, that would leave an indelible mark on my memory as well. Too bad my chives lie frozen in the back garden. I’ll have to pick some up from the market so I can make this for my kids. I’m sure they’ll love it! Merci beaucoup!
Written so beautifully – as beautiful as a meal at l’Ami Jean, always my favourite restaurant in Paris. Every word spoken so true about Jean’s cooking. He’s the very best! Will try this recipe today.
So glad to hear you feel the same! Going there is always a little feast. Happy holidays Jennifer! Mimi
Oh, this soup sounds absolutely wonderful, it is going to go the top of my list of things to cook this weekend! I once had a gnocchi dish with a Parmesan broth at a restaurant in Brooklyn, and it was delicious. The broth stole the show from the gnocchi!
Yummi, that sounds really delicious. And the photos are very appetizing, too.
A beautiful post as always!
Many thanks for the recipes Mimi, I have tried and enjoyed a number of them! A friend from France has just gifted us with a big block of reblochon and I was wondering if you had any good ideas about what to do with it. Best wishes and thanks again.
Bonjour Fiona! I have a very good idea for your reblochon! Why don’t you make the potato soup from this post on cèpes : http://mimithorisson.com/2012/10/15/the-wacky-and-wonderful-world-of-cepes/
Instead of adding cèpes to the soup, you could add fine slices of reblochon, and perhaps even sprinkle a few fresh walnuts and parsley? That’s what I would do:)
Have a lovely week-end! Mimix
Hi Mimi! Thanks for the recommendation – I tried it this weekend. However, I wasn’t paying full attention and I added the reblochon to the pot instead of to individual bowls.. phwoarrr that was some stinky soup! Fortunately it was delicious and my guests enjoyed it very much. So thank you again, and happy Christmas wishes to you and your family!
I tried to eat at L’Ami Jean when I was in Paris last July. We were a party of six so we couldn’t get in. Sigh. Next time! I’ve heard how great it is.
Thank you for sharing beautiful story and the recipe. J’ai envie de le faire tout de suite 🙂
Thank you for sharing the recipe. I was lucky enough to eat at L’Ami Jean on my trip to Paris this year. His food was incredible. If only I could get a recipe for his rice pudding … it was divine 🙂
Absolutely lovely–so simple but so luxurious it seems! Can’t wait to try.