Soup, Seriously

One Chez Fonfon’s soup du jour leads to another…

By Jan Walsh

Not many restaurants take soup seriously. If on the menu at all, most places only offer the one they have mastered, no matter the season. Not
Chez Fonfon. There is always a soup du jour on the menu, waiting for you. Be it thin or thick, cold or intercontinental, it will be the highlight of your day.

Today is my fifth morning in the bed with the flu. And I am without appetite other than craving soup from Fonfon or a little chocolate ice cream. Although I do not know what today’s soup will be, it doesn’t matter because one is just as lovely as another. And I know it will hit the spot, warm my throat, and satisfy my soul. While I wait to call in my soup order, I wrap myself in a warm blankets of soup memories from the past…

A few weeks ago, Chez Fonfon’s autumn vegetable sounded simple. Yet it arrived steaming with aromatics of root veggies and bursting with serious fall flavors and textures. And it lent itself to tearing off pieces of the French baguette and smearing it with butter for a touch of creaminess. From here my soupy stream of consciousness flows from broths to bisques. Oh, my, remembering that sweet corn bisque on the patio! It arrived warm, crowned with a touch of peppery heat, thick in body and abundant with flavorful bits of late summer, sweet corn. And before that was a smooth tomato bisque that warmed our bellies and our hearts on a bitter cold day last winter. It exploded with tomato goodness and hints of spice, crowned with a crunchy, cheesy toast on top. I recall we paired the bisque with warm rum cider served in brandy glasses. And looking back further to many years ago, I see myself, sitting in the corner window wowed by the ultimate soupe à l'oignon gratinée! Ribbons of caramelized onions intertwined in a deep, dark, complex broth, beneath a cheesy crouton. The molten cheese topping fused over the top and sides of the bowl, and I could not resist chipping off bites of it when no one was looking. Chez Fonfon staff have my number, and I am on call for the next time they catch a whiff of this French onion soup coming from the kitchen.

Back to reality, it is approaching lunchtime… I call Chez Fonfon and learn that today’s soup is a butternut squash bisque. Just what I need, a healthy and hearty, creamy fall bisque with a kick of spice. Let’s add a turkey sandwich with caramelized onions and blue cheese aioli to go with it. And before I hang up, toss one of those chocolate nut tarts in there too. After all, I am sick…

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