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Dec 30, 2012 04:17 AM

Where for soup, spice, other have-a-cold foods?

Hi everyone. I am in Paris now with my cousin. Her first visit and she is not food-focused. I have a cold and need to save my limited energy to showing her the sights. Any recommendations for low-key places, lunch, dinner or takeaway, that might serve throat-soothing or sinus-clearing soups or spicy food? We're in an apartment by Saint Paul and can get easily to most parts of the city.

We've had a couple of good meals at Terroir Saison and Monjul but I'm fading...

Perhaps there's a thread I've missed about soup? Sorry if this is easily searched. I tried but maybe was too specific.

Many thanks.

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  1. During the normal week, in areas with many office workers, there are a ton of soup and sandwich places but over the New Years' weekend/etc, most are closed. Cojean, several locations, probably is the best known but almost every place during cold weather has soups. For instance Pirouette had a nice trumpets of death soup yesterday and Axuria a superb pumpkin soup today. Or how about an onion soup in one of the Flo brasseries. such as the Terminus Nord.

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Talbott

      Thanks, John. The New Year weekend does seem to be a bit of a problem, which wouldn't really be a problem if I weren't under the weather. I'll keep my eyes out. Ended up having a chocolate eclair from Jacques Genin for lunch today. Delicious but did nothing for my sinuses!

    2. Soup is rare in Paris restaurants nowadays, and unless you come across a good version of onion soup, the few examples you might find at trendy bistrots or restaurants are not the type that takes care of a cold.

      Two good recommendations:

      - Pho soup based on spiced beef and onion broth is what you want. Try Pho Bida Vietnam, Pho 14 or Pho 67. You can also have chicken pho, noodle soup with sate or pig's trotter soup there, all quite good for what ails you.

      - Some Kurdish restaurants on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis serve iskembe çorbasi, a wonderful beef tripe broth thickened with egg-and-lemon sauce. It wakes up the dead. My favorite is at Mardin Çorba Salonu, in the lower part of the street. They serve nothing but soups there, very cheap too, and they're the real deal.

      1. Last winter i got takeout "Garbure" from the Spring Boutique. My wife had the same sinusy/cold thing and it was a big hit with her.

        6 Replies
        1. re: dennis855

          Spring's pot of soup of leftovers etc is super.
          But I'm not sure what Pti meant when she said that "Soup is rare in Paris restaurants nowadays" because we were at the Maison de l'Aubrac today with someone of Pti's stature and there was a soup of lentils.

          1. re: John Talbott

            Well, that means they had soup at La Maison de l'Aubrac today, not that soup is a common item.

            Soup remains a relatively rare item in restaurants. It used to be easier to find long ago, when bouillons were the raison d'être of the first Paris restaurants.

            Spring's lunchtime bowl of chicken broth is an intentional attempt to revive the "bouillons restaurants" of that era. The only one that I know of. On the whole soup is now far less common at restaurants as it is in home cooking.

            That does not mean you will not find some soups here and there — Yves Camdeborde is a notorious soup champion, there is always a delicious cream soup at Chez L'Ami Jean, and soupe de poisson at various locations. But not all soups are restorative and I am focusing on the needs of someone who has a cold. Hence my suggestions.

            1. re: Ptipois

              Yes. I understood the OP to be looking for a place where he/she could find a simple soup meal while feeling quite under the weather, not whether soup was available as part of a larger meal, which it certainly frequently is. But when I'm looking for something simple and, to use Pti's word, restorative, I would ask as the OP did for a congestion combating bowl of soup, some jalapenos on the side, maybe hints of curry, just the stuff to clear the head. Perhaps one of the "Carnet"s in the 9th? Or a Viet, like on Rochachouart?

              1. re: mangeur

                Well I already suggested pho soup, hence Vietnamese. Pho would be the perfect medicine.

                Either of the Carnet addresses (Yunnanese food) would be a great idea, not only because of the warmth conveyed by the various chillies used in the soups, but also of the use of oil and medicinal herbs that are supposed to repel cold. So head for the spiced soups, avoid raw vegetables (cold-inducing, especially in Winter), eat warm and hot, lots of liquids, don't forget ginger, some bitter orange marmalade in the morning (soothes the throat), and you'll be fine.

                Unlike what is advised in Western folk medicine, eat chicken soup only when the cold is receding, for chicken nourishes yang, and it is believed that as long as you still have a cold it will nourish the cold's yang, not yours. When your own yang is a little stronger, that's when you should have chicken soup.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  "Unlike what is advised in Western folk medicine, eat chicken soup only when the cold is receding,"
                  Ah the old Jewish/Chinese fault line.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    Indeed. I have mild "flu-like symptoms" (this is going around in Montréal right now) and I dutifully made myself a pot of soup - duck soup from necks, and frozen bones! Definitely with fresh ginger.

                    Funny, pho is from a hot country, but it is a lifesaver when we have a frigid winter (alas, after several years of civilised weather, de retour ici).

                    I've saved that Kurdish address, thanks.

                    This kind of thread is very useful for travellers. Remember that chowhound turns up readily in google searches

        2. Soup in Paris:

          Bar à Soupes
          33, rue de Charonne, Paris 11th

          Soupi Fruitti

          Chez Sésame
          51, QUAI DE VALMY

          6 RUE DE SÈZE75009 PARIS, FRANCE

          Bar à Soupes et Quenelles Giraudet
          5, RUE PRINCESSE

          Zoé Bouillon
          66, RUE RÉBEVAL

          Most of these are eat-in or take away (a emporter)

          1 Reply
          1. re: lemarais

            Yah, but OP wanted soup over the holidays.

          2. Thanks, everyone. Pho 14 and Pho 67 were both closed yesterday (shoulda called), but we ended up getting non-recommended pho when out in the 13th. It hit the spot, cleared my head, and I am on the mend. I really appreciate all the recommendations here.