In Gascony, this fortifying soup is traditionally served to newlyweds on their wedding night. Delivered to the bedroom by prankster friends long after midnight, the eggs, garlic, pepper and vinegar serve as rustic aphrodisiacs. I often make this soup just so we can tell the stories of romance on the canal.
Serves: 4 - 6
1 teaspoon of duck fat or butter
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4-6 slices good sourdough bread, toasted
Bring 11⁄2 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan.
Meanwhile heat the fat in a sauté pan over a medium-low heat.
Add the garlic and onions and cook gently without browning, until softened.
Sprinkle in the flour and cook slowly for a few minutes, but remove from the heat before the vegetables begin to colour.
Add salt and pepper to the boiling water, then add the vegetable mixture and simmer for about 20 minutes to infuse like a strong tea. When the garlic has given off all its flavour to the soup broth,
purée in a blender and then return to the pot.
Beat the egg yolks in a small dish with the vinegar. After adding a few tablespoons of the hot soup to the egg yolks, whisk the egg/vinegar mixture into the hot soup and stir over medium heat
until the soup just starts to look creamy. Do not boil or the egg will curdle.
Adjust the seasoning [we like it quite peppery and I will often add more vinegar at this time]. Present the soup ladled over toasted bread that has been placed in individual bowls or a tureen. Serves 4-6