Pancotto: Bread Soup with Heirloom Beans and Grains, Herb Oil, and Slow-Poached Guinea Egg

Pancotto bread soup carried in both hands of person.
Create flavored oils in this recipe by Chef Kerri Cacciata, found in our Community Table Cookbook.
6 cupsvegetable broth
2 Tblolive oil
3 cupsrustic crusty bread, preferably sourdough, cubed
1large onion, diced
2stalks of celery, diced
2medium carrots, diced
½ cupdried heirloom beans of choice
½ cupwheat berries
3medium tomatoes, chopped
½ cupkale, chopped
5garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbldried thyme
1 Tbloregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbllemon juice
½ cupParmesan cheese
salt and pepper
herb oil (see note)
fresh herbs
1guinea egg per bowl of soup

Heat large pot over medium heat. Once pot is hot, add oil, onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Without stirring, turn heat to high, and allow vegetables to caramelize. 

When color develops on mirepoix, deglaze pot with the vegetable broth and then lower heat to medium-low.

Add the wheat berries, beans, tomatoes, kale, and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook on medium-low for about 3-4 hours or until tender. Once soup is tender, add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

10 minutes before serving, poach one egg for each bowl of soup. When plating, gently add the egg to the soup, then garnish with cheese, fresh herbs, and herb oil.

making flavored oils: Start with a light tasting olive oil, and put into a pot with fresh herbs of your choice, garlic, a pinch of salt, and crushed red pepper. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Do not boil. Boiling will affect the taste, losing the nuances and clean flavor of the oil and herbs. When cooled, store in fridge for up to a month.