Friday, November 14, 2008

Creole Garlic Soup

While I’m talking about garlic...

I saw this recipe a couple of years ago on another blog and not a week later made a batch. I can’t say for sure whether this soup speeds healing, but it certainly comforts. I am here shamelessly re-posting from ATD’s blog; the original post is linked to the title as well as to this sentence. From here, I am quoting wholesale.

~~~Begin stolen post~~~

My Gift to all who suffer or will suffer from colds

It has been brought to my attention that every year, people get sick with...colds. It’s an epidemic. Teachers, priests, co-workers, children, parents...the list just goes on and on. Something must be done!

So I have decided it’s time to share the cure. Yes, I’m quite serious.

A few years ago, I attended a party in which the soup served as the second course was “Creole Garlic Soup”. It was so good, most of us thought we could likely live on this soup for the rest of our lives, and I believe all of us wrote down the recipe before we left.

It was several months before I made the soup, but as summer turned into fall, the heat came on indoors, and the days grew shorter, I realized it was time to think about making soup. So during the week I gathered my ingredients, dug out the recipe and went to sleep Friday night with dreams of garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme.

I woke up Saturday morning with one of the worst and most acute head colds I have ever had. But I still ventured out into the raw, cold, rainy November day to purchase the final ingredients for my soup.

Loaded up on decongestants, washing my hands until they were chapped, I joked with my roommate that I was going to cook up the cure for the common cold. So for a couple of hours, the warm cozy apartment took on the strong aroma of garlic, which even wafted into the hallway.

I do believe one of my neighbors was cured of something just by walking past our door.

I ate two bowls of the soup that evening, amazed I could even taste it. And the next day, my cold was quite literally 90% better. I had gone from misery to a small case of the sniffles.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for this wonderful soup.

DISCLAIMER: The ingredients are on the conservative end; adjust to your own taste, and don’t be afraid to add more garlic! But I would advise using the old adage “less is more” the first time you make it, but once you have an idea as to what it is like, you can better adjust according to your own taste.

  • 1/3 C. whole garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh basil or 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 4 cans of vegetable broth (or 2 32 oz boxes of Swanson’s vegetable broth) (( I recommend low sodium))
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 C. Half-and-Half (I use fat-free)
  • 1/3 C. parmesan cheese - shredded (Stizzy sez: try Locatelli instead!)
  • Creole seasoning
  • Day-Old French or Italian bread

1. Add onions and some of the garlic cloves to a large soup pan with the T. of olive oil. When the onions begin to turn clear or brownish (don’t over cook!), add the broth, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring this to a boil.

2. When the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.

3. In the meantime, make your croutons: Cube the bread, approximately 2-3 cups, and toast in the oven at 300 degrees. Remove from heat, place in a paper sack, coat with apx. 1 - 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and season with the Creole seasoning. (This is spicy— be conservative at first!). Set the croutons aside.


4. When the soup has simmered for the 40 minutes, add approximately 1 1/2 C. of the croutons and stir in with a wire whisk until they have mostly dissolved. At this point, the whole garlic cloves should be “mushy”.

5. Remove the bay leaf

6. Add the half-and-half and parmesan cheese and immediately remove the soup from heat.

7. If you have a hand-mixer, use this to blend the soup to a smooth consistency. You may also pour the soup into a blender.

8. Serve immediately and garnish with the remaining croutons, parmesan, and creole seasoning.

***the half-and-half and parmesan can be omitted (Stizzy sez: use the 1/2 & 1/2 but substitute Locatelli for the parmesan.)


St. Izzy said...

I made a full recipe of this last year and then put it in the crock pot to keep for a few days. (There are only the two of us here, you know, and we don't really need that many calories per day). The second day the soup tasted amazing. The third, it had started to get overcooked. On the fourth, I pitched what was left; it was clearly overcooked and the flavor was way off.

So last night I had planned to make a quick recipe for dinner, but we both had long, tiring days and ended up walking across the street for dinner. But I still had the ingredients.

So... I softened up some onion and some of the garlic in a pan and then added it and most of the other ingredients (fresh basil * thyme, roasted garlic, raw garlic cloves) to a crock pot on low. The transfer happened between 11 & midnight. I then covered the top of the sauce with croutons.

I checked it this morning before work (~7 am, +7.5 hrs) and ingredients were softening well with no scorching and the extra oils being sucked up by the bread, which was floating on top like a cobbler crust.

After work, ~5 (+17.5 hrs) I blended is smooth with an immersion blender and added some freshly cut tomato and some sundried tomato. In a little bit, we will have some over croutons and then I will put the rest in the fridge. We'll pull t out & nuke it as needed.

Spoon tests tell me that this is just the right degree of doneness for a cool-weather soup. In the summer, I like the light freshness of just-heated tomato. In cooler weather, I like an earthier, nuttier flavor. A nice LTLH cook seems like it might be just the ticket.

St. Izzy said...

The comment above is copied and pasted from a Facebook thread. I should mention here that the full recipe I'm talking about has a tomato soup base. And a whole lot of basil.

St. Izzy said...

BTW, I did my croutons differently this time as well. Instead of roasting/baking first and then adding oil and seasoning, I cut up the bread last night & shook it well in a paper bag with oil & spice, put that in a plastic bag, I let it sit. I shook it again this morning, and then oven toasted it tonight. This gave the oils from the spices lots of time to soak into the crouton, transported by the olive oil. Extra zing!