Sopa Espirito Santo is one of those quick one-pot wonders which warm body and soul and, for us, bring back lovely memories of the Azores from way-back-then.
Sopa Espirito Santo is a thin tomato soup, served with croutons and a poached egg. Google reveals different and richer recipes; this one here is authentic from distant memory, simple and delicious.
Peel one small to medium-sized onion, slice in thin half rings. Peel and crush two cloves of garlic. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil, and sautee onion and garlic. Quickly dice and add two ripe tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then add 400 ml cold water, and bring to a gentle simmer.
Add half a teaspoon of ground cumin and crushed black pepper, a chicken or vegetable stock cube and salt to taste.
Let this simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice some bread. Rub it with garlic and olive oil, then griddle it until it is crisp. Almost any real bread will do, stale or fresh, just not the British factory “bread” variety. That one won’t do.
Turn down the heat and wait for the soup to stop cooking, then gently crack an egg per portion into the soup. Turn off the heat and let it poach until it is just right, approximately 4 minutes.
Dish out soup and egg. Add the croutons. Optionally, add a small amount of roughly chopped flat parsley.