24 October 2009

Garlic Soup

Wait, what? I haven't told you about the garlic soup? Oh, my. I've told everyone I know about the garlic soup. The 88-clove garlic soup. It's been a week since we made it and I'm finally uploading photos, now that we've stopped smelling. That's a joke. We really only smelled for like 12 hours after the infamous garlic soup at the infamous garlic party. This is our friends' annual party, 15 years strong, complete with votes and prizes. But this was our first time to attend and to compete with 20 or 30 other - ahem - seasoned competitors, whose dishes ranged from crackers to cheesecake and everything in between.

The cheesecake won first prize and was delicious. I've long been a fan of garlic chocolate chip cookies, so I shouldn't have been surprised that garlic would lend itself so well to other desserts. The garlicky crackers were in the top 3 as well - also a favorite. There were more dishes than you can imagine; and I had a hard time deciding from the vegetarian dishes alone.

I did vote for our fantastic garlic soup, a surprisingly soothing soup given that it has so much garlic in it. But don't worry; it doesn't just have garlic in it. It has onions, too. And cream and thyme. We received many compliments and accolades (coulda been a contender), but we did not manage to win. Which is fine, given that it's our first year. We'll try again next year and in the meantime, we'll welcome a new recipe into our repertoire.

88-clove garlic soup
from Smitten Kitchen

(she calls it a "44-clove ticket to happiness" - we doubled it and dubbed it 88-clove garlic soup - so now it's a ticket to twice as much happiness)

52 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter (Use Shatto! Seriously!)
4 1/2 cups sliced onions
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
36 garlic cloves, peeled
7 cups vegetable stock
1 cup whipping cream (Shatto!)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
8 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 52 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 4 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 36 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add vegetable stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide grated cheese among 8 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

Serves 8 for dinner; Serves 40 or 50 when competing at a garlic party.

Thanks to Mom for tipping us off to this Smitten Kitchen recipe. Last October it was the Halloween costume; this year the garlic party recipe. Mom has such great ideas.

lucky number 7 - not lucky enough - better luck next year!


Laura Evrard said...

Use Shatto! I definitely agree. I've used and loved their milk and cream for quite a while now, but I just discovered Shatto butter. Ooh la la! It's so good.

Emily said...

Oh, the butter. It is divine! I call it cheese butter sometimes. I can't believe how good it is!

Deena said...

I just caught up on several of your posts. Great pictures, Emily! Trees in the fall make me happy. Most of the leaves in Moscow are gone - we had our first little blanket of snow this morning, less than an inch. Your garlic soup sounds wonderful! Cooking soup here has been a bit of a challenge for me. I tried a potato soup with potatoes from our landlords dacha and it tasted okay, but looked really funny. Cheese here is good, but...well...different.

Emily said...

Snow in Moscow! Can't wait to see pictures! I have a few more fall photos I'll post to Facebook for you to see.

So what happened with your soup? Were the potatoes different? Have you made cabbage soup? That's all Sergio wanted to eat when he read the Russians.

Keep the food reports coming! And let me know if you make borscht.

Jenni said...

Im definitly making that!

Lynne said...

Just had to compliment you on your photography and essays~~refreshing!

I came across your blog as a link to Deena's blog--her cousin Lindsey is our daughter-in-law, and our son Stephen had told us about "274 Cups of Tea." Neat.

Many blessings!

Emily said...

Thanks for your compliments, Lynne! I'm enjoying keeping up with Deena and Sid on their blog - such fun!