Bread & Garlic Soup with Parmigiano Reggiano & Watercress

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.

  • Serves 4
  • For the soup:
  • 60ml Extra virgin olive oil (4 tbsp)
  • 180g White bread (4 thick slices)
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5g Smoked paprika (up to half of this can be hot paprika for a little kick) (2 tsp)
  • 1Ltr Chicken stock
  • 2.5g Lemon juice (1/2 tsp)
  • 2g Salt (1/8 tsp, or ‘a good pinch’)
  • 100ml Single cream (optional)
  • For the garnish:
  • 50ml Single cream
  • Watercress to garnish
  • 60g Parmigiano Reggiano shavings to garnish

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.