Soup, Soup, I love Soup: Portuguese Garlic Bread Soup

This is a new to me recipe that I found in one of my many books. I did tweek it to make it easier to make, yet keep the flavours that it intended.

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Day old bread works well, or a heavier French Bread will do. You will need about one slice per bowl of soup. (this will make about 4 bowls)

Ingredients:

Bread for bowls.

One small egg for each bowl.

Teaspoon of vinegar.

A whole bulb of garlic, cloves removed, cleaned and I like to bake them in olive oil at 375 for about 20 minutes. The baking brings out the flavour. Mash them very well.

1.5 liters of chicken broth.

Teaspoon cilantro powder.

Hand full of spinach or a tablespoon of parsley flakes.

1/2 teaspoon of salt or salt to taste. If your chicken broth is unsalted you really really need salt to bring out the flavour.

Good dash of pepper.

Direction

Gently simmer on low the broth, garlic mash, salt, pepper, spinach and cilantro for at least an hour. I let mine simmer for about an hour and a half to really blend the flavour.

Break your bread up into bite sized pieces into each Bowl.

In a separate small pan with a lid, put in about 2 inches of water and the vinegar. When it GENTLY boils or almost but not quite boiling, carefully break each egg into this water. Put the lid on and leave it for about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon you can turn each egg to ensure the top sets on each egg. Don’t over cook your poached eggs though!

Ladle soup into each bowl, put a poached egg in each bowl. Enjoy.

Bolognese Sauce

There is nothing as nice as a meaty bolonese sauce that’s been allowed to slow cook all day long. There are many great versions of this pasta sauce, and this one is mine.

I find it so much easier to put together when I get all my ingredients ready before I start anything else. You will need:

1.5 to 2 lbs of lean ground beef.

1 large onion cut chunky.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 green sweet pepper cut chunky.

1 large stalk of celery cut chunky.

1 lb mushrooms cut chunky.

8 cloves of garlic or more. Or 2 tablespoons of powdered garlic. Lots of garlic is essential.

2 large cans or home canned jars of crushed tomato.

1 can of tomato sauce or 1 500 ml jar of home canned sauce.

1 large or two small cans of tomato paste.

3 bay leaves (always keep count of your bay leaves and remove them when the sauce is done, especially if you serve children.

1 tsp of red pepper flakes, or less depending if you want heat or not. Most children do not like it too spicy.

1 large tablespoon, heaping in fact of oregano flakes.

1 large tablespoon of dried basil flakes.

2 tablespoons brown sugar.

1/4 cup red wine, optional.

1 tsp of chopped fine rosemary.

Directions:

In a large pot saute onions in olive oil until they start to get soft. With my fingers i break up the ground beef so there’s not big pieces in with the onions. Brown the beef with the onions until there’s almost no pink left. Stir in the pepper and celery and mushrooms. Saute for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce and all of the other ingredients.

Bring it all to a simmer, a slight very light boil, stirring gently. Now put it on a small burner for the day or into a slow cooker. A slow cooker is nice as you don’t need to worry about it sticking too much, do check and make sure it isn’t getting too hot though.

Have some nice garlic bread ready, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese ready. I also usually make a great ceaser salad on the side as well.