Basically a garlic and herb broth that is given a bit of body with egg yolks, aigo bouido , a traditional Provencal soup, is ideal for days that you don’t have much in your kitchen other than pantry staples and you want something better than the sum of its parts. Light, nourishing, and soothing, this is my ideal soup for when I am coming out of a cold and haven’t had time to get to the store but am ready for something other than chicken broth. For those who are unsure about making a soup with so much garlic, don’t worry- simmering the garlic for half an hour takes the bite away, sweetens it, and turns it silky smooth- so much so that instead of serving the soup the traditional way with the garlic cloves whole, I sometimes like to puree the soup until velvety. Try it both ways and see what you like best.
20-30 cloves garlic, peeled
8 cups water
5 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
5 small sprigs thyme
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 egg yolks
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
1. Place the garlic, water, cloves, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for half an hour. Remove the cloves, the branches from the thyme, and the parsley sprigs and discard.
2. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl, beat with a whisk, and then slowly whisk the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil into the yolks. You’ll want to do this very slowly, a drop at a time, not adding more oil until what is already there is fully incorporated.
3. Once the oil is incorporated into the egg yolks, continue whisking and slowly drizzle a ladleful of hot broth into the eggs. Do this a few times, then add the yolk/broth mixture back to the pot of soup and whisk thoroughly. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges if desired.