Coming from possibly the most unsophisticated person in this ZIP code: this soup seems kinda sophisticated, somehow. (See picture for reference.) It's delicate, brothy, light–the polar opposite of the robust, meal-in-a-bowl, rib-sticking soups I tend to feature here.
This was a fine opener for yesterday's family Valentine dinner, the latter part of which consisted of hanger steak with a shallot-brandy sauce and (my favorite food in the whole wide world) good old-fashioned ultra-rich mashed potatoes. With more and different sorts of vegetables, though (blanched asparagus? cubes of Yukon Gold potatoes?), it could definitely make the leap from first course to full-on meal. And you can eat it with pinky crooked, or while simultaneously snarfing down Old German from the can… I'm sure it would be lovely either way.
Inspired by the Garlic Soup from Martha Rose Shulman's The Best Vegetarian Recipes
6 cups water or half-strength chicken or vegetable broth (if using canned broth, dilute 50-50 with water)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 fresh sage leaves
2 small dried red chilies
1 tsp salt
Most of a bunch of kale, leaves cut away from the tough stems, rolled and sliced into ribbons
2 eggs, brought to room temperature
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, combine water, garlic, bay leaves, sage, chilies and salt. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until flavors have melded, about 25 minutes.
Remove bay leaves, sage and chilies from simmering broth. Add kale; cover and simmer until kale is just tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together eggs and olive oil in a medium bowl (or a 2-cup glass measure, which is what I used and which worked brilliantly). Scoop out about 1/2 cup of hot soup, add to eggs and whisk together furiously.
Remove soup from heat. Add egg mixture to soup, whisking all the while. Taste for salt and pepper; serve immediately, if not sooner.