The first stumbling block to this project was the realization that I have one of the older versions of the book, one that includes quite a number of recipes with only lists of ingredients, but no measurements!!!! It's as though the author shrugged and said, "Rosbif, you should just know..."
The first actual recipe I came to was Aigo Boulido, or Boiled Water Soup and since I'm pretty sure I know how to boil water...
It's really a very simple recipe. You just boil four cups of water, add in a half-teaspoon of salt and six crushed garlic cloves. Let it boil for ten minutes, add a sprig of fresh sage, a sprig of fresh thyme and a quarter of a bay leaf. Take it off the heat and let it infuse for five to ten minutes.
Take out the herbs. Blend an egg yolk with some of the cooled soup and then stir it into the soup to thicken it (doing it in two steps like this blends the egg yolk into the soup instead of cooking it in a solid lump).
To serve, brush a slice of bread with olive oil and put it in the bottom of a bowl. Pour the soup over it.
Very simple to make yes, but how did it taste? Surprisingly good for such a simple soup. The garlic was noticeable, but not overpowering and the other herbs added a nice aromatic flavour.
The egg gives it body and modulates the taste. It also turns the soup a very pretty shade of yellow.
On its own, this is a good, quick (and cheap) soup to serve on a cold day (especially when you consider that a decent stock can take a couple of hours of cooking time).
It would also be a good base to make when you find yourself with leftover cooked potatoes or vegetables (I'm thinking green beans would go nicely), or rice or pasta.
Next time I make it, I'll double the salt. And make sure I have a day-old baguette in the house. The Three Seed bread we had on hand was not really the right flavour for this soup!