THE TOWN OF TRUJILLO SITS ON TOP OF A SOLITARY HILL DOMINATING THE LONELY PLAINS BELOW. IN THE TOWN SQUARE, UNDER THE BELL TOWERS TOPPED WITH STORK NESTS PERCHED ON THE BLUE AND WHITE TILED ROOFS, STANDS A STATUE OF LOCAL HERO FRANCISCO PIZARRO. HE WAS A CONQUISTADOR WHO, ALONG WITH CORTÉS AND OTHER SPANIARDS, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONQUERING THE PEOPLE OF THE AMERICAS. WHILE THE LAST OF THE INCA GOLD WAS SPENT BUILDING SPANISH CHURCHES AND PALACES LONG AGO, EVERY DAY, IN EVERY KITCHEN ACROSS SPAIN, COOKS STILL USE OTHER TREASURES THE CONQUISTADORS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE AMERICAS: TOMATOES AND CAPSICUMS (PEPPERS), WHICH TRANSFORMED THE WAY THE SPANISH COOKED AND ATE. FROM THE HOME OF PIZARRO COMES THIS FRESH AND LIGHTLY SPICED SOUP. IT IS MADE WHEN TOMATOES ARE AT THEIR MOST BOUNTIFUL — IN OTHER WORDS IT’S A WAY OF USING UP REALLY RIPE TOMATOES.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the capsicum and garlic and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes, or until the mixture has a jam-like consistency.
Stir in the tomatoes and
Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a cup, then gently slide them into the soup around the edges. Cover and simmer gently for 3 minutes for soft eggs, or 5–6 minutes for well-done eggs.
Gently divide the cooked eggs and soup among warm bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining paprika and serve with toasted bread.
© 2009 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.