44 clove garlic soup

Fall has arrived, and with it some busy schedules and some terrible allergies!  So, apologies for not blogging more this month.  Hopefully this unique recipe perks you up, fights off any colds, and allows you to forgive us our slacking ways…?  I read about this recipe earlier over the summer and had it tucked away for a rainy, cold autumn day such as this, to pull it out and give it a try.  We LOVE garlic, and go through more then 4 full heads a month ( that’s a slow one…) so after reading the reviews on this, I just had to find out for myself if it really was yummy- I mean, how can you go wrong with roasted garlic and Parmesan and cream?  There are 2 things I wish we’d known that the directions did not include- so that’s where this helpful blog comes in to the rescue!  First, when you buy your garlic, use LARGE heads that have large cloves ( you’ll need between 2-3 heads of garlic).  More importantly you need to use those larger cloves for the roasted garlic portion.  We used the whole head including those tiny cloves and they got too golden and gave our soup a slight ( but not terrible) sharp flavor.  Second, this soup really only serves four and it is a thin broth consistency after blending.  The Parmesan and lemon are integral components as they add a really bright and complementary flavor to the garlicy goodness in your bowl.  Now, as for the taste- it was really really garlicy fantastic!  You can certainly taste the roasted garlic flavors up front and then you get that sweeter garlic flavor and Parmesan to finish.  We mopped this up with fresh French bread hot out of the oven.  If we make this again, I’d roast the garlic for 35 minutes, then add some diced veggies like parsnips, carrots or corn and white beans or diced potatoes to really bulk up the soup and thicken the broth ( after it’s blended) and top with fresh parsley. 

44-Clove Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese

Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 1999

Serves 4

26 garlic cloves (unpeeled, large cloves)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups sliced onions ( about 1.5 regular size onions)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme ( we used dried)

18 garlic cloves, peeled

3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

4 lemon wedges

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 35-45 minutes ( check them!). Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

Do ahead: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

*** A recent camping trip to New Glarus was an inspiration for an exciting new post, stay tuned for yummy fall HEALTHY apple recipes… 

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