Forgive me, Readers, for I have sinned. It has been a lot of years since my last confession. I.. I..
I watched New Moon!
It’s true, and I feel the only way to absolve myself is to confess to the world [wide web]. Then it becomes kitschy, right? Until I tell you.. It was the first birthday present I received this year! I felt old when my mother lit all the candles on my cake–my delicious, delicious deep chocolate vegan cake from Moosewood–but the fact that she bought me New Moon.. and the fact that I watched it later that day.. brought my age back down to earth. And then I watched a whole heck of a lot of True Blood.
They don’t explain vampire’s reactions to garlic in the Twilight series like they do their reaction to sun.. groan.. But that’s no reason why I can’t link vampires and garlic for a blog post! Today I made garlic soup. And O Lord:
I did, of course, decide to make it at the store–meaning I decided at the store that I’d make it later at home, and did not set up a hot plate in the produce section–so I was meandering around looking up the recipe that had inspired me on my iPhone and generally did not look at the directions. Again. When I got home around 5 p.m. and realized that I was roasting more than half of the 44 cloves of garlic that go into the soup, I also realized I was really, really late. But guess what? So were my dinner guests. All was well, except for the fact that, in my rush, I refused to let my garlic cool after roasting and thus burnt the crap out of my fingers trying to get the smooshy garlic meat out of their little paper shells. Battle wounds, big sigh.
The soup might sound weird, or at least unusual, since most people don’t eat soup made almost entirely out of.. garlic.. on a regular basis, but the garlic is mellow and lovely. A combination of roasted garlic and raw garlic gives the soup a nice sweetness, complemented by a rich savoriness. There’s thyme in there, too, which is one of my verrrry favorite herbs, and just makes it all the better. I’ve got Smitten Kitchen to blame again for a new culinary obsession–this recipe came straight from her page, too.
To roast garlic for this recipe, you dissect a couple heads of garlic into 26 cloves, leaving them unpeeled, toss them in olive oil, pop in a baking dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and then roast at 350º for about 45 minutes. This, my friends, is 26 cloves of garlic, violently ripped apart from each other:
You know your garlic is fresh when the cloves stay tight together and the paper is hard to peel away. I had some seriously fresh garlic, which I wasn’t so stoked about, given the time constraints. And speaking of time constraints, give yourself proper time for this recipe, because here’s today’s life lesson:
Peeling piping hot garlic is not smart. And it’s not fun. There, off with you.
44-Clove Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese,
Directions by SmittenKitchen!
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 1999
26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 1/4 cups sliced onions
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 whipping cream
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 45 minutes. 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.