Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pavia Soup

I love reading cookbooks. I have quite a collection. I even check-out cookbooks from our local library.  A perfect weekend afternoon involves a half dozen loaned cookbooks and a spot of tea (and the assumption that daddy is entertaining baby).

I've been on an Italian kick lately. Yesterday I watched Roman Holiday again.

For dinner, I decided to cook from the big book: Italy The Beautiful Cookbook. The pictures throughout are delicious too.  I settled on a dish from Lombardia: Zuppa Pavese or rather Pavia Soup.

Essentially, it's a poached egg soup. Yep.

Doesn't this look elegant? Of course, mine didn't look like this, but it tasted fantastic. I was actually quite thrilled. Let me tell you how easy it is and you can see for yourself.  I made a few additions, which I'll include too.

Zuppa Pavese
2 slices firm, coarse-textured bread (and a bit o' butter)
32 oz chicken broth
2 eggs
2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
chopped parsley
my extras:
4 tablespoons chopped spinach
2 tablespoons chopped onions
dash of cayenne pepper

This recipe serves 2 people. So, pull out 2 oven-proof soup bowls.
Preheat oven to 350 and then turn off. Toast bread and spread with butter. Add 1 tablespoon of onions and 2 tablespoons of spinach to each bowl. Lay 1 slice of buttered bread on top of spinach and onions in each bowl.  Make sure bread is resting firmly on vegetables. Put bowls in warm oven.

Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil. Add pepper and cayenne pepper to broth. When broth has started boiling (note: simmering broth isn't sufficient; must be boiling to poach egg) take bowls carefully out of oven.  Carefully break 1 egg over toast in each bowl keeping yolk intact. Pour boiling broth into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

It's the perfect light meal with so little work. I could get used to this. Buono Appetito.

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