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Food Fare: Basque RecipesWee-Hours Soup

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until lightly browned, about three to four minutes. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté until garlic begins to brown, about two minutes. Add water, salt and white pepper; bring to a boil. Simmer for twenty minutes. Cut the baguette into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and lightly toast in oven. Remove from oven and set aside. Crack eggs into the simmering soup. Using a whisk, beat eggs into soup; season with salt and white pepper to taste. Place two toasted baguette slices each into the bottom of a shallow bowl; ladle soup over the top. Serve.


Note: "Pancetta" is the Italian version of bacon, and can be found in most grocery or Italian specialty stores. It is typically sold rolled up like a jelly-roll (half-and-half meat and fat). It comes from the belly of the pig (as does bacon), but pancetta is not smoked. It is cured in a mixture of salt, pepper and cloves. Standard bacon can be used in place of pancetta. If a less smoky flavor is desired, simply blanch bacon in boiling water for three minute and then drain before using.


*Recipe source: Garlic & Egg Soup, "The Basque Kitchen."


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