One of my favorite foods from the garden is garlic. Not only is it easy to grow and harvest, but the flavor has me dreaming about those little green shoots that pop up in February. Oh garlic… how do I love thee? Minced into salsa. Roasted and slathered across a baguette. Sautéed with scrambled eggs. Tossed into pasta. And you are the secret ingredient in my bechamel sauce. But now I have a new way to love you. Soup! Simple. Straightforward. Garlic soup.
A bumper garlic harvest had me scratching my head on how to use this bigger than usual crop. Wow. We would be eating garlic for months and still have plenty. But as I cleaned and sorted bulbs, a faint memory came into focus. There I was in Prague, at a quaint little restaurant, on a late summer day. In front of my was a hearty hunk of homemade bread and a steaming bowl of garlic soup. The aroma was heady and flavor was fantastic. Best of all. It was garlicky!
With a clear vision of what I wanted to create, I set about the task of making garlic soup from scratch.
100 Clove Garlic Soup
- 100 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/4 C. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. dried thyme or chives
- 5 C. yellow onions, diced
- 5 C. vegetable stock
- 1/2 C. cream (or half and half)
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon wedges (optional)
Place 80 garlic cloves in an oven-proof pan. Coat cloves with 1/4 C. olive oil. Stir the cloves so each is coated with olive oil. Cover pan with lid or foil. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 375F. Bake for 30 – 36 minutes until the garlic is fork-tender and is golden. (Do not let them brown)! Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle the cloves.
Place a stock pot over medium heat. Add the butter and 2 Tbs. of olive oil. After the butter has melted, add onions and stir to combine. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then add the remaining 20 cloves of raw garlic. Stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking of the garlic with onions. Add the dried herbs and vegetable stock. Add the roasted garlic cloves. Cover the stock pot and reduce the heat slightly and allow the mixture to cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the pot from heat and take off the lid. Use and immersion blender to puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put stock pot back on the stove, add cream and bring to a simmer. Once the soup reaches a simmer, remove from heat.
Ladle into bowls and serve a wedge of lemon with each bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the soup. This soup is also fine without the lemon… but the lemon adds something extra to the flavor.
Croutons are wonderful with soup or slices of a good, crusty bread.
This soup is truly for the garlic lovers. The roasted flavor comes through nicely and pureed soup has a wonderful texture.
So next time you are wondering what to make when you have a lot of garlic on hand, think soup! It is luscious on the tongue and the flavor will have you going back for seconds! Enjoy.