This recipe was inspired by Theodora Fitzgibbon, a legendary figure in the Irish food world. Throughout her long writing career she wrote more than thirty books including The Food of the Western World, a project that took her fifteen years and won her several awards. Her most famous work was A Taste of Ireland. She died in 1991 at the age of 75 so her formidable knowledge was not shared with the contemporary world of the internet and bloggers. We’re delighted to share her food heritage with you through this uniquely Irish recipe. If you are interested in learning more about Theodora Fitzgibbon, you will love the new book, ‘The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon.’
75g unsalted butter
1 large onion, roughly chopped
450g sorrel, washed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons plain flour
2.5 litre vegetable stock
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 egg yolks
200ml creme fraîche
a handful of micro herbs or edible flowers
8 thin slices of guanciale
sea salt and ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Toss the sorrel through then shake the flour over the vegetables, mix well and let it cook for about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil, then add to the pan. Then add the breadcrumbs, season to taste and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 1 hour, covered. Then, liquidise until smooth.
Beat the egg yolks with the cream and stir a little of the hot soup in. This ensures the eggs don’t scramble. Then gradually add the mixture into the hot soup pot, stirring well, over the heat but being careful not to let it boil. Sear the meat slices in a hot dry frying pan for 30 seconds on each side until crisp and golden.
Ladle the soup into wide rimmed serving bowls. Spoon a little crème fraîche in the centre of each and stick a piece of crisp guanciale into each one. Scatter the micro herbs and edible flowers over and serve.