Vampires don’t hang around long at this house. We are garlic lovers. Sometimes we fight for the cloves when they’ve been roasted with other vegetables. Carla, over at Chocolate Moosey, is this month’s hostess for the Weekend Cookbook Challenge (#32), and she chose her favorite – and ours, too – garlic -- as the challenge theme.
It seems like I’m blessed with garlic where ever I go. I lived in Tucson, Arizona, for a number of years, where one of the neighboring towns is called, Ajo. And, of course, now I live in California, home to Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world! I can even remember tasting Sopa de Ajo during a visit to Spain several years ago, so I decided to search for a garlic soup recipe. Looking through Food & Wine, I found a good candidate, Creamy Garlic Soup. It’s the simplest of recipes and perfect for a light dinner, and while a homemade chicken broth would probably add a depth of flavor, water works just fine in this case.
Creamy Garlic Soup
(Food & Wine Sept. 2001)
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled (about 6 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 cups water
- One 6-inch length of crustless baguette, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat to moderate and gradually add the water, stirring constantly, until it boils. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer the soup until the garlic is very soft and falling apart, about 30 minutes. (I used a stick blender to make it smooth at this point.)
- In a large skillet, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Add the bread and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the croutons on paper towels.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot soup into the eggs. Reduce the heat to low. Add the eggs to the saucepan, stirring constantly until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes; do not let the soup boil or it will curdle. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot, with the croutons.