roasted garlic soup

I don’t care if it’s 90 degrees F and humid outside. Soup is being made once, even twice, a week in my house. Like ice cream and hot chocolate, soup is to be enjoyed all-year round, regardless of the temperature outside. That’s just the way it is.

The original recipe calls for 44 garlic cloves. Sounds like a lot, right? I put a little more in mine; something around 50, I think. I find that recipes always call for less garlic than I prefer anyway. Plus, after 20 cloves, you tend to lose count. Or at least people with short attention spans do.

Roasted Garlic Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit via Smitten Kitchen)
Serves 3-4

26-30 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
About 2 cups sliced onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (I used a little more)
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup or less of heavy cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano (about 2 ounces)
3-4 lemon wedges (one wedge per bowl of soup)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place 26-30 garlic cloves in small baking dish.
Add 2 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. Let cool.
Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Place in small bowl.
Melt butter (I also added a slick of olive oil) in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onions and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook about 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Puree soup in blender until smooth.
Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper (be sure not to over salt – the cheese that you add next will add some of extra flavor).
Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over.
Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl.
Garnish with extra thyme.

I’m a garlic lover, but before I made it I thought that this might be a little too much. It’s not. It’s mild, balanced, comforting, delicious – everything I hoped it would be.

And some things to remember:

1. It’s a thin soup, so a crusty bread or a grilled cheese on the side is a good idea. Then again, when is grilled cheese not a good idea?
2. The squeeze of lemon at the end really makes a difference.
3. I would not suggest this for a first date.

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