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.

Once upon a time after a big meal at l'ami Jean...
Once upon a time after a big meal at l’ami Jean…

35 thoughts on “Parmesan soup from ‘l’ami Jean’

  1. Dear lovely readers,

    Due to the site’s updated version, we unfortunately lost all the comments on this post. So sorry about this and thank you for your understanding. Mimixx

    1. It’s so cold and wet outside, I was looking for something to warm me up and I remembered Mimi’s wonderful parmesan soup recipe – pure bliss (as I am so lucky to have an endless supply of delicious Parmigiano Reggiano!). I also wanted to give Lan/angry asian the good news that Parmesan is a totally natural lactose free product, so please do enjoy this heartwarming heavenly soup! Thank you Mimi!

  2. Dear Mimi,

    Before I head off to the grocery store with a shopping list for this soup… Really?? TWO LITERS of cream? I’ll do it, I will. My hand just trembled when I copied it, so I need you to confirm…

    1. Dear Delilah! Haha! Yes, I felt the same way too! Consider this soup as a treat, a very rich one indeed. All the ingredients work wonderfully well together. You can always put a little bit less cream, like 1.5 liters. Happy holidays! Mimix

  3. Mimi, you have the most beautiful blog I have seen in a long time. It took me forever to read your blog as I would read a post and then jump to another one. What a pleasure to read! Photos by your husband are outstanding!

  4. Hello! I just wanted to say that I simply adore your blog (I made the pepper steak the other day and it was divine) and I wanted to ask you a question. My grandmother is turning 70 soon and we wanted to prepare a grand french-inspired feast and I was just wondering about the courses. I was thinking boeuf bourguignon as the main course, do you have any tips for the others? And is it customary to drink champagne separately before all the other courses? I live in Finland but French food culture seems so wonderful to me, it’s a shame I’ve had so little experience of it!

    1. Bonsoir Rosa. Thank you for visiting! Glad to hear you enjoyed the pepper steak. Congratulations on your grandmother turning 70 – what a lovely age. It’s heartwarming to hear you will prepare her a little feast. Boeuf Bourguignon sounds perfect as a main. For starters, why don’t you try the parmesan soup? It’s a recipe from one of my favourite bistrots in Paris, and it never fails to impress. You should go for that! If you find it too creamy, you could opt for foie gras on toast (if you like foie gras), or even winter vegetable tartlets. You should definitely make gougères (cheese puffs) to serve with the champagne. Champagne is usually drunk as an apéritif, when the guests arrive. But there really are no rules! With boeuf Bourguignon, it would be ideal to serve a lovely Burgundy red wine. You could serve champagne again with desserts. Have you tried baba au rum cake? It’s one of my favourite classics. For guests I usually like to spoil them with chocolate meringues (with chocolate sauce and whipped cream) – always works! Best, Mimix

      1. oh my god, I did not expect you to reply so soon! And I was looking through the recipes thinking the parmesan soup looks lovely – haha! Thank you so much much for the suggestions, I shall definitely try them. As I am a poor student I rarely get to splurge on food, but this time my relatives gave me free hands! (Also, on a side note, have you seen the Danish film ‘Babette’s Feast’? When I think of French food it always comes to mind, as the dinner scene in it just shows perfectly how food can transform people, and it looks amazing!) Thank you again and best of wishes, Rosa

  5. Dear Mimi, I can’t find the words to explain how happy you’ve just made me! I was at L’Ami Jean in February, and had the parmesan soup. The moment I left the restaurant I was pretty sure I’d never taste anything as good ever again… and now, 11.646 kms away from Paris, and in the comfort of my home, I can do it myself! All I can say is thank you so so so so so so much for this!

    Santiago – Chile

    1. Hello! So happy to hear you found my post! Isn’t this soup just amazing? Stéphane Jégo is such a genius cook – everything he does is always so creative and amazing. I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe! Mimix

  6. Dear Mimi, I just made the Parmesan soup and I’m overjoyed with the result. Despite all the cream, which in some dishes can be a bit prevailing, it tastes very refined. Thank you for the recipe and your very inspiring blog.

    The best of wishes, Marie

  7. I LOVE your gorgeous presentations of such rich,fresh ,love infused dishes! Parmesan soup is a favorite of my own to prepare and I look forward to making yours!!! Beautiful!-Rebekah

    1. Hi Rebekah! THANK YOU for such kind words! This soup recipe is from one of my favourite chefs Stéphane Jego – it’s always a bit hit with my family and friends! Warm regards from Médoc! Mimix

  8. Hello, I too love the Parmesan soup. We will be visiting Medoc and I would like to know the name of your restaurant so we could try. Thanks, Konni

  9. I was just in Paris and ate at L’ami Jean twice. The parmesan soup is what brought us back. To die for. So very happy I found the recipe. Calories be damned. This soup is worth every one.

  10. Mimi thank you so very much. Looking forwars to trying my hand at this. But I do have a question. Is there such a thing as a recipe for parmesan soup with cranberries and almonds in it? Had it a couple of months back during a trip. Havent seen it where i live and would like to give it a go as well. Thank you!!

  11. Thank you! We enjoyed this soup a couple of weeks ago when dining at L’ami Jean with our granddaughters (ages 11 & 13). They haven’t stopped talking about how they want to learn to make the soup. I am surprising them with the recipe and ingredients this afternoon.
    I’m sure they will want to attempt the rice pudding next. The fluffy salted caramel sauce served with the pudding was a huge hit with them, too.

  12. Hi Mimi–couple of questions about the cream in this recipe:

    1. What fat percentage?

    2. Is it really necessary to have 2 liters of it?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  13. Hello Mimi – what a beautiful post and the recipe, the recipe! Merci!

    We spent a week in Paris with several friends and were invited to dine at l’ami Jean for our farewell dinner. What a beautiful experience – and your blog post describes so much of what we experienced.

    When Stephane served us his Parmesan soup, at first I thought “wow – that is *way* too much soup”.

    Happily, I was wrong. We ate it all and only a certain amount of restraint prevented us from calling for more.

    Thank you and



  14. I love your blog. This soup has become our meal for Christmas Eve dinner. It has its own special soup bowl and is a treasured recipe. My daughter, age 9, looks forward to it every year. Thank you for such beautiful, simple, and delicious food!

  15. Mimi,
    I had a version of this fantastic soup at a friends catered dinner and immediately started looking for a recipe. I was so happy to find yours and made it this weekend. While the flavor was great, the consistency left something to be desired. The cream/milk broke and curdled, leaving me with a “grainy” soup, even after attacking it with my stick blender. I used 1 qt. cream and 2 qts. Half & Half to achieve the 2:1 ratio of cream to milk, assuming the h&h to be half cream. Where did I go wrong? Might the cream content have been lower than the “half”I assumed? Should I have used a little starch to help it emulsify? Your comments will be appreciated. Thanks, Ed.

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