Saturday, 17 April 2010

Roasted Garlic Soup

This is not for the faint-hearted! I am told this is actually not as pungent as you might think, but it does contain a lot of garlic – 4 ½ bulbs. It is, however, beautifully creamy and makes a lovely, unusual soup. I wouldn’t recommend eating it just before a first date though.

The recipe came via an old friend of mine, who stumbled across it online. We both absolutely love garlic, and it seemed to us the perfect soup. The first time she made it for me she didn’t have a printer, so had to keep consulting her laptop in her tiny kitchen in Wood Green while I waltzed around her, helping prepare ingredients. It still conjures up fond memories of boozy nights drinking, talking and eating all things garlic.

For the roasted garlic:
26 garlic cloves, unpeeled (approx 2 ½ bulbs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the rest:
50g butter
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves only
18 garlic cloves, peeled (approx 2 bulbs)
450ml chicken or vegetable stock
200ml single cream
40g parmesan
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place 26 cloves of garlic on a small baking dish, add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 40 minutes until the garlic is golden brown and tender. Allow to cool and then squeeze the garlic between your fingertips to release the cloves. Transfer the cloves to a small bowl and set aside.

Then melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and thyme and cook until the onions are translucent. Then add both the roasted and raw garlic cloves and cook for a further three minutes. Add the chicken stock, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the garlic is very tender.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to the saucepan, add the cream, parmesan and lemonjuice and warm through. Do not allow the soup to boil as it will curdle. 

Divide the soup between four bowls, garnish with a fresh grate of parmesan and serve with a wedge of lemon.

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