1 quart (4 cups) water
1 bay leaf
2 sage leaves
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
a dozen medium cloves of garlic, smashed peeled, and chopped
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
day-old crusty bread & more olive oil to drizzle
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the bay leaf, sage, thyme, garlic, and salt. Heat to a gentle boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain into a bowl, remove the bay and sage leaves from the strainer, and return the broth and garlic back to the saucepan, off the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
With a fork, whisk the egg, egg yolks, cheese, and pepper together in a bowl until creamy. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating all the time, then add (slowly!), continuing to whisk, a large ladleful of the broth. Stir the contents of the bowl into the garlic broth and whisk it continuously over low-medium heat until it thickens slightly. Olney states, "just long enough to be no longer watery." I usually let it go a wee-bit beyond that - until it is the consistency of half-and-half or cream. Place a handful of torn bread chunks into the bottom of each bowl and pour the soup over the bread. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and serve immediately.
Makes about 4 cups of soup.
This recipe was adapted from The French Menu Cookbook by Richard Olney. Originally published in 1970, this edition was republished by Ten Speed Press in 2002.