Mention Lombardy, one of Italy's northernmost (and wealthiest) regions, and thoughts often turn to fashion, and its Italian capital, Milan. It seems almost paradoxical that the many dishes for which Lombardy is famed - Milan's osso bucco, cotoletta and risotto among them - are so hearty. They all rely on excellent core ingredients, and this soup is the same: making your own brodo and choosing the freshest eggs you can find are the keys to making it special. You'll need to begin this recipe a day a head.
- 6 thick slices sourdough bread (about 40gm each)
- For brushing: extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 180 gm finely grated parmesan
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional), to serve
- 1 onion, halved horizontally
- 1 carrot, halved lengthways
- 1 garlic head, halved horizontally
- 2.4 kg chicken bones
- 1 pig's trotter
- 1For chicken brodo, preheat oven to 250C. Scatter vegetables on a roasting tray, place bones and trotter on top and roast, turning once, until deep golden (1-1Ω hours). Transfer to a large saucepan, cover with water (about 3 litres) and bring to the simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low, skim scum from surface, then simmer until stock is well flavoured (2-3 hours). Cool slightly, strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, season to taste, cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. Spoon fat from surface (discard), then bring stock to the simmer over medium-high heat.
- 2Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C. Brush bread with olive oil and grill until golden, turning once (2-4 minutes each side). Rub with cut side of garlic and divide among serving bowls.
- 3Poach eggs in stock in batches until soft-poached (3 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of bread. Skim egg scum from broth, ladle broth through a fine sieve into a jug and pour over eggs. Scatter with parmesan and parsley, season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and serve.