Portuguese Tomato and Onion Soup with Poached Egg
4 large yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
8 large juicily ripe tomatoes, chopped OR 2 cans whole tomatoes (1lb. or 454 g each)
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
5 cups water (OR, if using canned tomatoes, 5 cups rich vegetable stock)
6* eggs (*or 1 per person)
12 thick slices stale / day-old French or Italian bread (use slim baguettes)
¼ cup minced parsley / coriander / fresh thyme / basil / savory
Sauté onions slowly - about 15 minutes - until soft and golden. Add garlic and tomatoes (you can first peel and de-seed tomatoes if you care for such things - I never mind using the whole thing), cover and simmer 1 hour; uncover, and simmer to reduce liquid for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Add water or stock, salt and pepper to taste and, if needed, a little sugar (add a pinch at a time, tasting till you get the edge off any bitterness. The soup I made was not at all bitter - it depends on the tomatoes and how well the flavours have cooked together. The other recipe recommended 3T butter as well but I didn't feel it was necessary - it's up to you.
Simmer, uncovered, 1 ½ to 2 hours or until flavours are richly blended. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until about 1 hour before serving. (I reheated just enough for tonight's dinner and put the rest in containers to go in the freezer or you could save leftovers in fridge to eat the next day when the flavours will be even more nicely developed!- soups are great like that!)
Bring soup slowly to serving temperature. Carefully break eggs into soup, spacing them evenly, cover and simmer slowly 5-15 minutes or until eggs are poached to your liking.
Ladle soup into large shallow soup bowls, including an egg with each portion. Garnish each bowl with bread slices and a sprinkling of herbs.
NB. This is a filling and delicious vegetarian and dairy-free recipe but Luc reckons it would be even better with cheese and chorizo - he would!