Garlic and Cilantro Soup with Chickpeas (Acorda a Alentejana)

2 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (¼ cup), plus more to serve
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika, divided, plus more to serve
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 ounces rustic bread (such as ciabatta), sliced ½ inch thick and torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
8 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 15 1/2 -ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 soft-cooked eggs, peeled (see note)

In a food processor, combine the cilantro, Parmesan, jalapeño, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Process until finely chopped, about 20 seconds, scraping the sides as needed. With the machine running, add 1/2 cup of the oil and process to a pesto-like consistency, 30 to 45 seconds. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss the bread with the remaining ¼ cup oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Toast in a large Dutch oven over medium, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, return the bread to the bowl, leaving excess oil in the pot; set the croutons aside.

Set the Dutch oven over medium and add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth and chickpeas and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in the pureed cilantro mixture, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the croutons among 4 serving bowls. Ladle in the soup and top each with 1 egg. Sprinkle with additional paprika and Parmesan.

Tip: Don’t skimp on the olive oil in this soup. The croutons absorb oil as they toast and the broth takes on a rich, creamy texture when the pesto is stirred in.

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