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MARIO BATALI Chicory Soup with an Egg

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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus 4 tablespoons)
3 ounces pancetta (finely chopped)
1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced, plus one whole clove peeled)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
1 large head chicory (cleaned, trimmed, and broken into 2-inch pieces)
3 vine-ripe tomatoes (diced)
4 slices peasant bread (toasted)
4 eggs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

In a medium-sized pot, add the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat is rendered and it just begins to brown. Add the onion, garlic, chili flakes and mint and cook until lightly golden.
Add the chicory and salt and cook for another 3 minutes. Add 3 quarts of water and simmer for 1 hour. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.
To serve, place a slice of toasted bread on the bottom of a bowl. Place a fried egg on each slice of bread between 4 bowls and top with hot soup.
For the fried eggs: In a nonstick pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and place over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and fry on low heat until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny.
For the toast: Place a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the bread with olive oil and toast in pan until slightly charred. Rub toasted bread with garlic.
Tip: instead of chicory, try this soup with escarole or kale.

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