Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bread Soup with Cilantro, Garlic and Egg

3 T. finely minced garlic, plus 1 whole clove garlic
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
6 thick slices of coarse country bread
6 eggs
5-6 c. chicken stock
some water

In a mortar, combine the minced garlic, salt and half of the cilantro and mash to a coarse paste. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until well blended. Spoon into 6 warmed soup bowls and keep warm. (I did more of this than the recipe called for because it just didn't look like much. I also don't have a mortar and pestle, so I just used a spoon and a bowl and I dumped in half the oil at a time. This probably wouldn't have happened with a mortar, but I ended up with quite a few chunks of garlic that added a nice bite to the soup, but have also left my tongue burning. I also didn't bother with keeping it warm since I was going to be pouring the hot stock over it.)

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm about 1/4 cup of the remaining oil. Add half of the bread slices without crowding and saute, turning, until golden, 5-6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remianing bread and oil. While the bread is still hot, rub both sides with the whole garlic clove, then cut into cubes. Distribute the cubes evenly among the bowls and toss with the garlic mixture. (We all had seconds and I found that it was best to put the bread cubes in at the very last minute so that they were still semi crunchy when you ate it.)

In a large saute pan, pour water to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. Bring the liquid to just under a boil. One at a time, break the eggs and carefully slip into the water. Cook until the whites are barely firm and the yolks are just glazed, 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl of cold water. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil and then ladle most of it over the bread mixture in the bowls. Using the slotted spoon, place an egg on top of the bread mixture in each bowl. Gently ladle on the remaining hot stock. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve at once. (I didn't bother with the whole cold water thing. Instead, I just put them right into the soup bowl and poured the stock over them.)

Recipe from the Williams-Sonoma cookbook, "Savoring Soups & Salads." The last recipe for the spinach and kale soup was also based on a recipe in this book.

No comments: