Garlic Soup

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Colds are the worst!  The worst!  I would much rather have a stomach flu which comes on intense for a few days and then lets you get back to living your life.  But not colds.  Oh no.  Colds like to linger and make a nuisance of themselves for what feels like an eternity.  The sniffling, the congestion, the coughing.  The coughing is the worst!  I always seem to be in the middle of something with someone of importance and I can fee the tickle in the back of my throat start.  A couple muffled coughs later, I try as I might to hold it in until I’m red-faced and feeling like I’m going to pop vein in my head.  Then all hell breaks lose and I start coughing like an angry dog barking at a passerby (not to mention gasping for air), usually to the awkward horror of the other person.

Well one of these horrendous demon virus’ struck me while we happened to be short-staffed at work.  Unable to take a day off, I armed myself with Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and Hand Sanitizer and got busy, despite feeling like a zombie being resurrected.  Luckily I had a wonderfully thoughtful coworker named Eva who brought me a bowl of Garlic Soup to nurse me back to health.  It was 12-clove perfection (and clearly I am not a Vampire).  Cold or not, I have been dreaming of Eva’s soup ever since.  This isn’t her recipe, but it’s as close as I can get.

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Garlic Soup

From Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook A Kitchen in France

Serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp duck fat or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 whole head garlic, plus 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • Fine sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  1. In a large pot, heat the duck fat over medium heat.  Cook the onion for 2 minutes.  Add the sliced head of garlic and cook until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir well, then pour in the chicken stock and bring to a low boil.  Season with salt and pepper, add the thyme sprigs, lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Fry the remaining sliced garlic until golden and slightly crisp, about 3 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Purée the soup in batches in a blender.  Return the soup to the pot and set over medium heat.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl and then drizzle, whisking constantly, into the soup.  You should see thin strands of egg white form in the soup; immediately remove from the heat.  Whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar in a small bowl, then slowly add a little of the soup, whisking constantly.  Add the egg yolk mixture to the soup, again whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the fried garlic, and drizzle with a few drops of olive oil, if desired.  Serve immediately.
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