Julia Older is a poet and musician who lives in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. Her books include Cooking Without Fuel and Soup & Bread in collaboration with Steve Sherman.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cubed French bread (crouton size) left standing for 1 to 2 hours
2 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups stock (half chicken, half beef)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the croutons and brown in the oil. When the croutons are almost brown, press the garlic with the side of a knife, mince, and add to the pan.
Sauté the garlic and croutons approximately 3 minutes more. Remove three-quarters of the croutons and reserve.
Add the paprika, cayenne, and stock to the croutons remaining in the pan. Bring the soup to a fast boil. Remove the pan from the heat; then quickly stir in the eggs, parsley, and salt.
Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Warm individual soup bowls with hot water. Serve a few saturated croutons in each bowl, and let guests help themselves to the remaining crisp croutons at the table.