Sopa de Hortela Mint Soup
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press
- 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, or bestquality lowsodium canned broth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 bunch fresh mint, leaves only, coarsely chopped
- 6 thick slices French bread, crust removed and cut into 3/4inch cubes
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over mediumlow heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden. Do not allow it to burn. Add the chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to mediumhigh and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the mint leaves and remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the bread cubes in a bowl and pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over them. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper and toss well. Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Strain the mintinfused mixture into a clean saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over mediumhigh heat. Drizzle the eggs over the boiling liquid and stir gently for 1 minute to cook them. Place some of the toasted croutons in the bottom of each of 6 soup bowls, preferably earthenware, and ladle the hot soup over the top. Garnish each bowl with a sprig of mint and a wedge of lime and serve.
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