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Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes

Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese)

Zuppa alla Pavese is a soup made with stock, bread and eggs. Despite the simplicity of the ingredients, this soup is regarded as a real delicacy and I totally agree with this opinion. The recipe comes from Pavia, a city not far from Milan, and it seems that it was invented by a farmer during the time of the “la battaglia di Pavia” in 1525 (the battle of Pavia). The legend says that the king of France, Francis I, lost the battle against the emperor Charles V, and tired and wounded found refuge in a farm where he was served with this soup. Whether the legend is true or false, it doesn’t matter; certainly the recipe is very old and probably traces back to a few centuries ago, when wars and plagues made the food scarce and people were forced to cook with what they had. It’s a very nourishing soup that I usually prepare for lunch during cold weather. 
Note: the ingredients in the list are for one person, but if you have guests, always consider 2 eggs and 1 slice of bread per person. About the stock, I had all the 3/4 pint - 1 3/4 cups for myself so, in case of guests, prepare more stock.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1
Calories 650 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Eggs Eggs must be absolutely fresh (ideally use free range organic eggs).
  • 1 Large slice of bread In the past, stale bread was used for this recipe. Use whatever bread you want but a home made loaf of countryside bread is the best bet!
  • 1 Beef stock cube (to be dissolved in 3/4 pint - 1 3/4 cups of boiling water)
  • Enough Parmesan cheese (grated) for a generous sprinkle
  • A generous knob of butter
  • An oven proof dish to contain the soup

Instructions
 

  • Before we start, put your oven proof dish in the oven because we need it hot for a later stage (you can set the oven to the minimum, but I recommend the use of oven gloves when it is time to take the dish out of the oven). Next, cut a slice of bread.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Remove the hard crust and cut the big slice in two parts.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Prepare the stock, dissolving the stock cube in 3/4 pint of boiling water.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Now, take a shallow pan (a frying pan will do the job) and melt the butter.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Fry the bread until both the sides are golden brown.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • This is the kind of colour we have to achieve.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Once the bread is ready, take the oven proof dish out of the oven.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Put the bread inside the dish, pressing it down so that it stays on the bottom of the dish.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Break the eggs over the bread.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • Now, a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • The dish is ready for the adding of the stock. The stock must be boiling hot (not simmering) so raise the heat before adding it into the dish.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • We add the stock to cover. The heat of the stock will partially cook the eggs. You can cover the dish with a plate and leave the dish alone for one minute or two, then you can serve the dish.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes
  • With this soup the eggs will never be thoroughly cooked, but this is it and I cannot change the tradition. However, if you are serving the soup to children or old people, you may consider poaching the eggs before laying them onto the bread; then you add the stock. Alternatively, before adding the stock, you can pass the dish under a grill, in order to cook the eggs, but you need to be careful not to burn the bread. Try it and find the solution that best suits you.
    Feel free to add some ground black pepper if you wish.
    Bread and egg soup (Zuppa alla Pavese) | Special Recipes

Notes

Buon appetito!
Federico Pezzaioli

Nutrition

Calories: 650kcal
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