Monday, April 10, 2006

Garlic Soup With Poached Eggs

I found this recipe when I had a horrific, lie-in-bed-and-wish-I-was-dead style cold. It was raining outside, and the thought of going to the grocery store or, for that matter, doing any actual cooking, was too much for me. This was the only thing I could get myself to eat.

Although it requires almost no work or ingredients, this soup is amazingly luxurious tasting. It also falls into one of my favorite categories -- soups that don't require long periods of time or blenders.

Garlic Soup With Poached Eggs

1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried sage

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

4 parsley sprigs

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 eggs, as needed

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Crusty bread, optional.

1. In a large saucepan, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, bay leaf, parsley sprigs and olive oil. Add 2 quarts of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Pour through a fine-meshed strainer into a heatproof bowl, pressing on the garlic to squeeze out as much flavor into the broth as possible. Let cool and then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

3. To prepare a serving for one, ladle about 1 1/3 cups of broth into a small saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Carefully break an egg into the broth (do not break the yolk) and poach until the white is just set, about 1 1/2 minutes. (It will continue to cook off the heat.) Transfer the egg to a soup bowl and pour the broth gently over it. Garnish with parsley and cheese. If desired, serve with crusty bread.

Makes 6 servings for one.

From the NY Times, 4/2/2006, and adapted from Julia Child's ''Mastering the Art of French Cooking.''


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