I am a huge fan of soups. And not just soups when the weather is bad. I like soup in the summertime. I adore soup for breakfast. This is one my very favorite soups of all time. Roasted Garlic. Say it with me, “ Row-stead GARlic”. You will reek after eating this. Just make sure that you eat this with people who love you.
The cast of characters:
The 26 cloves of garlic took two full heads of garlic. In fact, I used slightly more than 26 cloves, some of them being very small next to the center of the head. At this point, I knew that in just a little while my kitchen was going to smell wonderful with the scents of garlic roasting. I put all the cloves in a small glass baking dish, add the olive oil and then sprinkled it with the salt and pecker. (My dad always said that and it always made my mom mad. It always made us kids laugh at the dinner table. The habit stayed with me.)
Once I got the garlic going, it was time to chop up the onions. My onions were pretty large at 3.25 inches across so I only needed 1 ½ onions to make up the 2+ cups. And, I goofed up. I forgot to buy fresh thyme so I had to use dried.
That’s what happens when you read the recipes too fast making up your shopping list.
I added the onions to the melted butter. Oh, and did I mention that my kitchen was smelling utterly divine about this time? Those garlic cloves were roasting and scenting things up around here.
Peeling the roasted cloves is very easy. The outer skin just splits open and out pops the clove of juicy garlic. Cook the onions until they are translucent and semi limp. Between the onions and garlic cooking, I was drooling non-stop.
Now here is where, in my hurry to taste this concoction, I forgot to take a photograph of the broth in the pot and simmering for 20 minutes. And then forgot again, to shoot the whole shebang in the blender! Getting so blended, so smooth, so silky, so….ok, I’ll stop. If your blender is like my old one, puréeing was laughable. It could chop fine, but to purée without any bits of debris, it just couldn’t do it. In the past, I would ‘purée’, and then, using a cheesecloth, would drain my blended batch into another bowl just to get a smooth puree. Recently, upon admonitions from our children to do it…do it NOW!, we purchased a Vitamix. I am going to marry my Vitamix. It is THE best blender in the world. Period. My Cuisinart? Kicked to the curb.
See how smoothly puréed this is? Not one bit of chunk left in it. This is the soup after the cream went in. I kept it at simmer for a few minutes because I heard my son arrive. Well, I thought, he can give me his opinion of it. He tasted it without the cheese or lemon…straight out of the pot.
Do you think he liked it?
Roasted Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese
26 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 ¼ cups sliced onions
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3 ½ cups chicken stock
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, about 2 ounces
4 lemon wedges
Preheat over to 350°. 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, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.)
Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.
Courtesy of Epicurious and Bon Appetit