Portuguese Bread and Garlic Soup with Egg

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This simple peasant soup embodies what is wonderful about Mediterranean food—from a few basic and inexpensive ingredients is made a rich and delicious soup. In Spain and Italy similar garlic and bread soups are prepared but without the cilantro. Use the herbs of your choice for a personal interpretation.


  • About 1 cup fruity olive oil
  • 12 to 18 thick (1 inch) slices French or Italian peasant bread (enough to cover the bottom of each bowl)
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 to 5 cups reduced Chicken Stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


    Film a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add as many slices bread as will fit without crowding and sauté, turning once, until golden on both sides. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then, while the bread is hot, rub both sides of each slice with the clove of garlic. Repeat with the remaining bread, adding more oil as needed.

    Mash the minced garlic and the salt to a paste in a mortar with the pestle.

    Poach the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still quite runny. Set them aside in a bowl of cold water. You can poach them in a pan of water with a little vinegar or in an egg poacher, which is simpler and more foolproof.

    Divide the garlic paste and fresh parsley and cilantro among 6 soup bowls. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to each bowl, then add the sautéed bread.

    Heat the reduced stock to boiling. Using a slotted spoon, remove each egg from the water and gently place on the bread. Now ladle on the hot stock. Serve immediately.