French Onion Soup at Café du Monde

French Onion Soup at Café du Monde

A bistro classic, French onion soup — soupe à l’oignon gratinée — is a meal in a bowl made with a few humble ingredients and a couple of basic techniques.

I’ve just had a great onion soup at Café du Monde Crêperie at the St. Jacobs Market. Since August, the food stall located in “Peddler’s [sic] Village” bulding has been a relatively new venture for Nadia Dragusanu, who also operates the Café du Monde food truck in the summer. Her mother, Veronica Johnson, who worked in the kitchen at Kitchener’s Verses restaurant, joins her in the endeavour.

Johnson, left, Dragusanu (Photo: WREats).

Johnson, left, Dragusanu (Photo: WREats).

Dragusanu and Johnson serve sweet crêpes such as Apple-Licious, Cinnamon and Sugar, The Canadian, and savoury ones called Caribbean, Italian and Swiss.

This winter, however, they have started putting out a rich and beefy French onion soup that is perfect for cold weather.

“It’s an awesome winter soup,” says Dragusanu. “We make it from scratch including our own demi-glace. We cook down the onions and add a slice of baguette and some grated Gruyere. It’s garnished with a few thin slices of red onion.”

The soup is baked in the oven and served in the glazed ceramic crock-style bowls that were popular decades ago. The bowls have the rolled rim that allows the cheese to accumulate and crisp up.

Dragusanu says she loves being at the St. Jacobs Market, and she shops for her supplies at the local vendors in the morning. “It’s great in the summer when you want to find fresh local products. We always see lots of tourists then. But in the winter, we’d like to see more local visitors from Waterloo Region come here.”

And so you should — the French onion soup, hearty and satisfying, really makes the visit.

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