Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Moon Cheese Soup

I dreamed that we were somewhere by the ocean in a hotel room. We were there for someone’s wedding. There was a sliding glass door in the room that looked out on the ocean; if you walked out of the door you would be standing on the beach and the ocean was just a few hundred feet away. It was night and the moon was out over the ocean and it was HUGE. So huge that you could distinctly see the craters and if you took a picture of it, it didn’t just look like a white dot – it actually looked like the moon. I took a picture of it with my phone and the picture of the moon turned into a picture of a slice of cheese.

Portuguese Cilantro Soup
I am obsessed with this soup. I think about it all the time and I could literally eat it every single day.  It’s essentially just pesto in broth, but completely ridiculously delicious. We first had it at our friend’s house, and she once lived in Portugal so I know it’s totally legit. I’ve heard that people either love cilantro or abhor it, but never fear, cilantro haters: I have made this soup with a cilantro and walnut pesto and once with spinach and sunflower seed pesto. Both were muy delicioso, but I will say that the cilantro version had more “zazz”. You could make a pesto with any combination of greens and nuts that you like.

  • Poached egg(s), 1 per person. Make them first and keep them in a bowl of ice water. They’ll get warmed up when you add them to the soup.
  • Day-old or stale bread, one chunk/slice per person. If your bread is fresh, toast it up a little otherwise it will disintegrate in the soup.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth (homemade is best, but any will do). Use as much broth as you’ll need to serve the number of people you’re feeding.
  • Cilantro, 2 or more bunches, leaves only (stems removed)
  • Nuts: walnuts or any other nuts or seeds you have on hand
  • Garlic - whole cloves and some chopped up for the pesto
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Put the broth and a few whole cloves of garlic in a pot and gently warm it on low heat. While the broth and garlic are heating, make the pesto. You can use a food processor, or chop it by hand or a mortar & pestle. Chop up the cilantro, a handful of nuts and some more garlic until everything is finely chopped. Mix in some olive oil until it has a nice spreadable consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste. Then add about ¼ to 1/3 cup of the broth to give it a little bit of a wet consistency. This helps it to mix into the broth easier.

When the broth is heated, add the pesto. The amount of pesto you add depends on the amount of broth you have, but don’t  skimp on the pesto.

To serve, put a piece of bread in each bowl and place a poached egg on top of each piece of bread. Ladle the soup over the top. Eat. Your life will change.

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