French Garlic Soup
Many years ago I've blogged about my cream of garlic soup and if you were with me then, you would know that I love garlic and that I live through periods when I eat alot of it (no, our house is not haunted as far as I know, and I'm not trying to keep Hub away). Coming back from France with my precious horde of pink garlic from Toulouse and from the Dordogne, I have been thinking about how I could do them justice and it seemed like time to make French Garlic Soup again.
This time however I roasted my garlic in the oven before making it into a soup. In the past 2 years, I have found pleasure in slicing whole heads of garlic into 2 whenever I could and roasting them in the oven this way saves one the need to peel them one clove at a time.
We had the soup for dinner and accompanied it with an Omelette aux Girolles. In the Dordogne, they used to serve a Tourin à l'Ail to newly-weds the morning after the wedding. To help keep them apart for a few hours?
Soupe à l'Ail (serves 4) :
4 large whole heads of Pink Garlic (sliced into 2)
Enough Olive oil/Duck fat to layer the bottom of a baking dish
1.2 litres of Chicken stock
Fresh Thyme, Bay leaf, Sage
1 small Potato (sliced into small cubes)
3 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Egg Yolk (optional)
Fresh Parsley for garnishing
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Basically you will need one whole head of garlic for each person that you'll be feeding. Slice them across the cloves and place them cut-side down in a baking dish that has been thinly layered with olive oil. Actually, I've added duck fat to the olive oil - inspired by the Dordogne version of the soup. Bake for about an hour. They will become soft and the side touching the oil will be roasted. When you lift up the garlic, the garlic pieces will normally just fall out. No need for any peeling.
That one half-head was a bit over-roasted
At the same time boil the cubes of potato in the chicken stock together with the fresh herbs till they are cooked. Fish out the potato and set aside the stock.
Add the cooked potatoes to the cooked garlic in the baking dish, together with the flour, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix everything together and mash into a purée.
Bring the chicken stock to a gentle boil and add the garlic purée. Stir to mix well, add the milk and simmer for about 20 minutes to make sure that the flour is cooked.
One can mix the soup to make sure that it's smooth, or you could just have it the way it is (like me). I like it when there are still bits of roasted garlic in my soup.
You can add some cooked pasta to the soup or eat it with toasted or fried garlic croutons.
For a thicker soup, you may also beat an egg yolk and stir it in.
I love this soup, but there is no way that I can eat it all the time. It's too strong...