Bread & garlic soup with Parmigiano Reggiano and watercress
For the soup:
60 ml Extra virgin olive oil (4 tbsp)
180 g White bread (4 thick slices)
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
5 g Smoked paprika (up to half of this can be hot paprika for a little kick) (2 tsp)
1 l Chicken stock
2.5 g Lemon juice (1/2 tsp)
2 g Salt (1/8 tsp, or ‘a good pinch’)
100 ml Single cream (optional)
For the garnish:
50 ml Single cream
Watercress to garnish
60 g Parmigiano Reggiano shavings to garnish
A delicious and warming soup that is also a great use for leftover bread. The parmesan brings sweetness and richness to balance against the earthy flavours of the garlic, smoked paprika, bread and watercress.
To make the soup – place a third of the olive oil in to a large saucepan on a medium high heat. Once the oil is very hot (180°C) place two of the slices of bread in to the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes on either side until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Repeat with another third of the oil and the two remaining slices of bread.
Reduce the heat to medium and place the remaining oil and garlic in to the same saucepan. Gently fry until nicely browned, careful not to allow the garlic to burn. Add the paprika and stir in for 15 seconds before adding half of the chicken stock.
Add the bread and bring everything to a gentle simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and use a hand blender to blend the soup until smooth. Add the remaining chicken stock a little at a time, until you have the desired consistency for your soup.
Place back on the heat and stir in the cream (if using). Season to taste with the salt, and finish with the lemon juice.
To serve – divide the soup in to four bowls and drizzle cream in the middle. Use a peeler to shave thin slices of parmesan in to the centre of the bowls, before topping with watercress.