- 1/2 pound slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 4 slices rustic Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese, plus 1 small piece rind
- 4 tablespoons torn fresh parsley
- 4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 375. Cook the bacon in a medium pot over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon, then discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the pot. While the bacon cooks, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic to the bacon drippings and cook until slightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth, 1 1/2 cups water, the Parmesan rind and 2 tablespoons parsley; season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
Adjust the heat so the broth is barely boiling. One at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl and gently slip into the broth. Poach until just set, about 2 minutes. Transfer the eggs with a slotted spoon to individual soup bowls. Stir 1 cup parmesan and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley into the broth and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the broth into the bowls and top with the croutons, bacon and the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.