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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cream of Garlic Soup



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Several times a year, I throw caution to the wind and invest in a center cut piece of beef tenderloin. That's a sure sign I'm yearning for the dinner parties of my misspent youth and have a yen for chateaubriand that I feel can only be justified by the presence of guests at our table. While I no longer called these occasions dinner parties, they are special dinners where good food and fine wine are combined with great conversation and the company of good friends. I want the food to be delicious, but I also want it to be simple, so I can enjoy the company of our guests. That means the first course I serve will usually be a soup that can be made well ahead of time. This lovely cream soup, develop by chef Susan Spicer, is perfect for those occasions. It is made from a slurry of garlic and onions that mellow with long, slow cooking. The soup is then pureed to perfect smoothness and enriched with light cream just before it is served. The trick to this, of course, is proper cooking of the onions and garlic. While the recipe calls for chopped onions and garlic, I've found they exude less liquid and brown better when sliced. Because garlic can burn quickly, I partially cook the onions before adding it to the slurry and I consider the times recommended in the recipe to be suggestions rather than fiat. The vegetables should be cooked until they are golden brown and form a slurry similar to that of an onion soup. That might take longer than the recipe suggests, so don't rush the process. If you master the slurry, you will have a interesting soup that makes your socks go up and down. This is a lovely soup that ages well. I hope you will give it a try. Here's the recipe.

Cream of Garlic Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Susan Spicer

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds onions, about 4, chopped
2 cups garlic cloves, about 4 large
heads, chopped
2 quarts Chicken Stock or canned
low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 loaf day-old French bread (about
1/4 pound), cut into chunks
1 bouquet garni: 6 parsley stems, 9 sprigs fresh thyme or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried, and 1 bay leaf
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Croutons, optional

Directions:
1) Heat oil and butter in a large pot set over low heat. Add onions and garlic. Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, about 30 minutes. Raise heat to moderate and continue cooking onions and garlic, uncovered, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 10 minutes longer.
2) Add stock, bread, bouquet garni, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
3) Remove bouquet garni and purée soup in a blender or food processor. Strain soup back into pot. Add half-and-half and pepper and bring back to a boil. Serve topped with croutons, if you like. Yield: 6 servings.










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29 comments :

Ginny said...

I have never heard of garlic soup, but you have persuaded me, and this looks lovely!

painter said...

Good morning Mary, I'm very happy for your visit and your nice words...
I didn't know your blog, it's beautiful and very usefull and I will be back for sure...
Nice to meet you!

Chryssa

Sorry for my English, it's not very good

Priya said...

Super flavourful soup,feel like having..

Kim said...

I would llove this lovely soup. Onions and lots of garlic, what's not to love. I'm sure it's quite tasty!

Foodycat said...

In Switzerland a few years ago I had a lovely garlic and white wine soup, and I have tried and tried without success to replicate it. I will try this one! Maybe bread is my missing ingredient?

Jenn said...

Oh wow, that sounds delicious! I bet it truly does make your socks go up and down! :)

Rosemary said...

I miss the "dinner parties." It was fun to labor over the menu, shop, choose the wine, cook all day, set the table and then share an evening around the table with friends. Still do that, just more casually. The garlic soup sounds like a delightful first course. I will try it, even just for myself. (I love garlic.)

The Blonde Duck said...

Ben loves beef tenderloin!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Just the thought of the menu and gathering you mentioned today makes my socks go up and down!! Than you for this recipe, Mary. blessings ~ tanna

Leslie said...

This soup sounds soooo delicious. I love love love garlic, so I am sure I would love it!

Martha said...

sounds yummy...and interesting :) "socks go up and down?" made me chuckle :) have a great day!

Jo-Lyn's Cup Cakes N' Candies said...

Garlic is a girls best friend, er.... ;)

lea said...

Sounds interesting and I love garlic. The photograph is lovely

From the Kitchen said...

I went to the grocery store (stocking up for the snow) before I read your soup post. However, I did replenish our garlic supply. Soup is the order of the day (next few days perhaps).

Best,
Bonnie

Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese? said...

This sounds really good! I love love love garlic, and thankfully so does my husband ;).

Linda said...

This looks as gorgeous and it must taste amazing! Love the simplicity and intensity of this soup! I'm truly a garlic lover!!

Sofia.Lopez said...

Hello Mary,
I really enjoy that kind of dinners, good friends, good conversation with a nice and simple meal...and of course, a very good wine :)

I loved your soup, i will make it one day, i'm sure my friends will love it
Beijinhos
Hope you have a really nice day ;)

France@beyondthepeel said...

i love a soup that makes my socks go up and down! What a lovely soup for entertaining and who wants to spend all there time in the kitchen when their friends are over anyway.

Catherine said...

Oh~Dear Mary, This is a soup that I would LOVE!! Delish!! Blessings my friend, Catherine xo

Chiara said...

that sounds delicious Mary !have a good day...

Claudia said...

My husband and I adored a garlic soup at a restaurant that has closed and I have never found one to match it - they are all too heavy - too cream-laden. This may be it! (Or better!)

sarayutouched said...

hi mary, thanks for stopping by my site and leaving your comments. and now i must go see if i have the ingredients for cream of garlic soup...yummy!!

teresa said...

as always, your presentation is so lovely, this looks incredible!

Joanne said...

I've seen a lot of cream of soups in my life, but never cream of garlic! Sounds delicious!

Sreevalli said...

I love the flavor of garlic & soup with it is just yumm..

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Wow, that sounds amazing. There is no chance that I won't lOVE this!

tender b. said...

2 pounds of onions and 2 cups of garlic are my idea of a great time. Maybe not the guy sitting next to me on the bus but I'm not concerned with him.

Vicki Bensinger said...

First of all you wrote that so beautifully. I enjoy Susan Spicers recipe but have never tried this. Although both onions and garlic can be harsh I'm sure that the slow cooking makes them so sweet and flavorful, not to mention good for you.

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will definitely try it. Happy New Year!

Sharon Koenig said...

I've not heard of garlic soup! I'm sure it's quite delicious though. I love garlic though, will definately have to make this sometime. It seems like it'd have a nice strong flavor. :)

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