Food bloggers as a lot tend to wax super-duper poetic about every single recipe they post. I mean, if they don’t love what they’re sharing, they probably wouldn’t blog it to begin with, right?
Every once in awhile though, it feels a little … well, almost fake … when I find myself writing yet again about how utterly fabulous this pasta dish is or the transcendent, life-altering qualities of this sangria.
But the fact is, it’s not fake. I’m pretty much in love with just about every recipe I post. I’ve usually spent weeks, sometimes months, making and remaking and tweaking until I think it’s just right. So I guess the fact that I find myself going on and on about how tasty and perfect a dish shouldn’t be a huge surprise to me. But I guarantee that as I write up this week’s batch of posts, I’ll sigh yet again as I type more glowingly elaborate food descriptions.
This recipe, though? It’s extra amazing. Extra utterly fabulous. Extra, yes, life-altering and transcendent. The heavens open up, light shines, angels sing.
But only a little.
Seriously, it’s quite possibly the best soup I’ve ever tasted – and certainly the best soup to ever come out of my kitchen.
It’s garlicky. You’re aware of this – you saw the title of this – it’s got 40 garlic cloves. 40! Yes, you will probably smell like garlic for a day or so after eating this soup. Yes, you know it’s worth it.
It’s such a simple soup, and therein lies the beauty. Onions, thyme, and rich vegetable broth provide the stage for the obvious star – garlic cloves both roasted and simmered. The pour of whipping cream, squeeze of lemon, and sprinkle of Parmesan respectively highlight the sweet, buttery, nutty notes in the garlic.
No faking, here. This one is a must-try.
As far as the size of the garlic goes, I kept forgetting to weigh my heads of garlic so that I could give you an estimation. I think as long as your cloves aren’t super-small or you’re not using elephant garlic, your soup should come out just fine.
40 Cloves of Garlic Soup
- 25 garlic cloves (unpeeled + 15 garlic cloves, peeled)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sliced onions (about 1 medium onion)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Kosher (coarse salt and freshly ground pepper)
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the top(s) off of your head(s) of garlic and separate out 25 cloves, making sure each clove has an end chopped off (this will help with squeezing out the roasted garlic later on).
- Place the 25 cloves in a small glass baking dish, pour the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until cloves are light golden brown and very tender. Remove from oven and cool.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic between your fingertips to release the garlic and discard the peel. Set roasted garlic aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and thyme; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add both the roasted garlic and the 15 peeled raw garlic cloves and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock and, continuing over medium heat, bring the soup just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until garlic is very tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender, puree soup until smooth.
- Return soup to pan and stir in heavy whipping cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese into each bowl and ladle the soup over the top. Squeeze one lemon wedge over each bowl and sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired. Serve.