If you enjoy garlic, you MUST try this soup. If you don’t enjoy garlic you should try this soup anyway, because it’ll make a convert out of you. Seriously, this is an amazing soup, and once I’d taken my first sip I immediately decided that this was one to add to my recipe rotation. Yes, it uses a lot (a whole lot) of garlic, but the flavor isn’t overpowering– it’s sweet, slightly smoky, creamy, velvety, and really just perfect. Did I mention you needed to try this soup? You need to try this soup.
It starts off with a ton of roasted garlic, then you add a bunch of onions and raw garlic, and simmer it all together to let the flavors meld. Fresh thyme adds another dimension of flavor, cream gives it a bit more body, and the last-minute squeeze of lemon keeps it from being cloying. I served mine with some cheese toast, but a thick slice of plain sourdough bread would also be a great accompaniment. Or salad, I guess you could have salad if you insist on something green…
44-Clove Garlic Soup (from Epicurious)
26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 1/4 cups sliced onions
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy or light cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
4 lemon wedges
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.
2. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
3. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until the formerly-raw garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Purée soup using a blender or immersion blender. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate, then rewarm in pot or microwave leftovers)
5. Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over it. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve garnished with more cheese and thyme leaves.
- I bought whole heads of garlic to make this, believing that the skins were important to the roasting process. Since then I’ve found articles on the internet saying that you can roast pre-peeled garlic as well– just douse it in olive oil and roast it the same way you would unpeeled garlic. You can use the leftover oil instead of butter to saute the onions in. Since I can buy whole packages of peeled garlic cloves and avoid the hassle of removing the roasted garlic from the papery skin, I think I’ll go this route next time.
- I used light cream for this recipe and it turned out just fine. Other reviews I’ve read say that you can also use half-and-half. I wouldn’t go so far as to use regular milk, though– I don’t think it would be creamy enough, and once the fat level goes down you start to be in danger of the lemon juice making the dairy curdle.
- Be aware that garlic can have… er… digestive consequences. Just a heads-up.