There’s a kind of alchemy in this soup from Jason Fox. He used to cook it at San Francisco’s Bar Tartine more than a decade ago. Each element—the greens and beans and bread and cilantro puree—is dead simple. Somehow when the elements unify, the dish leaps from basic addition to exponential goodness. You could use water, if you have no chicken stock. It’s a whole lot better with stock though.
Adapted from Jason Fox, chef-owner of Commonwealth in San Francisco
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add ¼ cup olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the bread and cook, stirring often until the bread is a little browned, about 5 minutes. Push the bread into a bowl and wipe the skillet.
- Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to the skillet and warm over medium-low heat. Add the chard stems and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring every so often, until both the leaves and stems are tender, another few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cilantro, garlic and ½ cup olive oil to either a blender or food processor. Puree until quite smooth and season with salt.
- Add the stock to a pot over medium heat, along with the chard and drained beans. Meanwhile, bring a shallow pot of water to a boil then reduce to the lowest temperature possible. While using a spoon to create a gentle whirlpool, crack each of the eggs into the water, one at a time. Cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still jiggly, 4 minutes.
- Add the cilantro puree to the stock, chard and beans and stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the bread between four bowls, and do the same with the soup base itself. Top each bowl with a poached egg and serve.
Scott Hocker is a writer, editor, recipe developer, cookbook author, and content and editorial consultant. He has worked in magazines, kitchens, newsletters, restaurants and a bunch of other environments he can’t remember right now. He has also been the editor in chief of both liquor.com and Tasting Table.