The Best Bargain in Paris (Perhaps the Best Mushroom Soup, Too)

It was absolutely freezing outside, and I’d just gone to the bank, and was walking along rue Cler (the pedestrian street that has a food market on Sundays) on the way to the metro, when I remembered a little boulangerie on the corner of rue Cler and Champ de Mars, called Denis Auvray.

The sign said, “artisanal,” which is what you look for here, because otherwise the bread can taste like something quite awful and factory-like. But I was looking for something more. Something that would warm me up.

And found it – cream of mushroom soup! – for the outrageously low price of 1.50 euros.

With the change in my purse, I bought my soup, and figured that I’d splurge the 35 cents on a little roll to go with it.

Despite the cold, I happily sat outside (there were plenty of tables free), and ate what was perhaps the best mushroom soup I’ve ever tasted – creamy, but not too much cream, earthy and mushroomy, with plenty of mushroom bits scattered throughout – and I watched people walk by, huddled together for warmth, with hats and gloves not doing much good at all, and I thought about how lucky I was to have discovered this place, and this particular soup.

Denis Auvray
45 rue Cler, 7th arrondisement
Metro: Ecole Militaire