Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This recipe is just really yummy and delicious. It's kind of a good the-cupboard-is-bare type recipe, because you can improvise it and tweak it and you probably have the most key ingredients in your cupboard most days.

I was glad to have a reason to make this... I didn't have the normal multitude of eggplants to work with this week because I FORGOT TO PICK UP MY CSA BOX ON SATURDAY (oh man I just wither a little bit every time I think about that... this frickin-frackin' long weekend had me all turned around...) ... so anyway, I made lemons out of lemonade, or rather, wait, that's not right either... you know what I mean... without further ado here's the recipe...

CARABACCIA (Tuscan Onion Soup) (Otherwise known as the Italian version of French Onion Soup) ( A kinda cool article about it here...)

  • 1/4 cup diced pancetta or prosciutto (about 3 ounces)(or really just bacon, or more olive oil)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (3 large ribs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 cup roughly cut carrots (about 1 large carrot)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for brushing toast
  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced sage
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 large red onions (3 1/2 pounds) sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, more to taste
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala or equal parts ground cinnamon, clove and mace
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh or frozen and defrosted green peas
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 slices Tuscan bread
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese


Purée pancetta, celery, garlic and carrots in a food processor until mixture is a coarse paste.
In an eight-quart pan, heat 1/3 cup olive oil, rosemary and sage over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add paste, turn heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Add white wine, and simmer 10 minutes more.
Add onions, salt and red pepper, and sauté over low heat, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and some have turned golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Add balsamic vinegar and stock, and simmer 25 minutes over low heat. Add spice mixture and peas, and cook 5 minutes more. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
While soup simmers, bring 2 cups water and the white wine vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat until no bubbles break surface of water. Crack two eggs into water, and cook 4 minutes. Gently spoon eggs out of water, and reserve in a shallow dish with water in it. Bring water back to a boil, and repeat process until all the eggs are poached.
Lightly toast bread. Brush each slice with olive oil, and sprinkle with two teaspoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Toast again or broil until cheese has melted, about two minutes.
Lay a slice of toast in each of six deep soup bowls, and top with a poached egg. Ladle soup over egg, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and serve.
6 servings

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