This light and pungent soup is full of virtues. It is even said that “Aïgo bouido sauva la vido”—Aïgo bouido will save your life. It is the perfect soup to serve the day after a rich meal. For a more substantial version, you may add cheese, vermicelli, or even egg yolks.
Heat the water in a large pot until it boils. Add the garlic, orange rind, bay leaves, sage, and thyme, and boil for 20 minutes.* Strain through a sieve.
Add the vermicelli if you wish, and cook it until it is soft—about 5 minutes. Turn off the flame. Add the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
If you want a richer soup, beat 4 egg yolks and pour in a little of the hot soup to warm them before adding them to the pot. Stir in ½ cup grated cheese and serve at once.
* The broth may be prepared in a slightly different way: Sauté garlic cloves in hot olive oil for 3 minutes; add the water, herbs, and spices and, 10 minutes later, the vermicelli, and then cook for 3 more minutes.
© 1990 Mireille Johnston estate. All rights reserved.