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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Garlic Soup- my week of soups

I just got in the mail a book I have been wanting for many years- Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Vicor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette. Why haven't I bought it sooner? I have about a 100 cookbooks, so it would seem that I have enough. But since most are from the publishing house I used to work for, this book should have a different flavor profile.

Since I am in the second week of the flu... hopefully the tail end, and the start of Autumn. I thought I should get this soup book, finally, and do a week of soups to soothe this lingering flu/cold.

Now garlic soup may seem like a real vampire killer, but when you cook it, and this is cooked quickly in the oil and then boiled, the heat and flavors mellow. It still tastes like garlic. However it is not the brash teenager garlic- all fiery and cocky, but the suave, sophisticated garlic that reads the newspaper, owns antiques and trades stocks for fun.

I photographed the recipe from the cook book that includes my half recipe notations. I find it easier to note the half amounts of the ingredients before I start the recipe and I like to make a half recipe when I try something new, in case I do not like it and would feel guilty throwing out a large quantity of food.

So, I changed a few of thing... or added steps that I thought was not clear.

1. I used Costco brands organic chicken stock and tomato sauce, organic eggs and olive oil.

2. I cubed the bread and used a morter and pestle to "mince" the garlic. (I find the marble easier to clean the garlic smell from that a wooden cutting board.)

I also added the salt at the stage to make the garlic grinding easier.

steamy image of whisked soup

3. I whisked the soup instead of puree in the blender- saved an extra item to clean.

4. I used crushed red pepper flakes from Penzeys instead of cayenne, because I like them.

soup pre-whisking, the bread swells up a lot!

New Technique for Me~

I have never added a whisked egg into a soup, but it made the soup go from just good to rich and creamy.

I think the key to this process is, "slow and stead wins the race" and it will taste the same if it doesn't work just perfectly anyway. After all, you are not serving it to the queen, just your family and friends. So, unless they are all chefs, don't worry!

So, a cup of the soup slowly whisked into the whisked eggs- slowly means that this should take about two birthday songs worth of time to do. You are warming the eggs.

Adding the eggs to the soup is a little scarier to me- because this is the part that could make egg drop soup out of the dish. Again slow- like 3 birthday songs or more.

Finally the finished soup! A perfect light lunch especially for the sick and sore of throat.

I went all TV chef and added a little olive oil to the top to serve. It's the little things...

I hope you will try this rich, creamy soup, it can even go vegetarian, if you opt for vegetable stock instead of chicken. This half recipe makes about 4-5 of the mugs I used for the photographs. So, for me, it's a stock the freezer item! It will be a great alternative to tomato soup to go with a grilled cheese in the future. 

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