50 Cloves of Garlic Soup might sound like a daunting name for a recipe. Insane even. One that might be more suited to a sadomasochistic erotic novel? But most of the cloves are roasted in their skins so they steam and become really sweet and caramelised. The rest of the garlic is cooked for 20 minutes in the stock and I think that the longer you cook garlic for, the more mellow the taste becomes.
This recipe was an experiment though and I really didn’t see it working out so well. I’m pretty heavy-handed with the garlic when I’m following someone else’s recipe and normally add a lot more than stated so this soup really embodies my garlic obsession in a bowl. It seems that nearly every week there’s a new superfood that no one has ever heard of but garlic was the original as it has so many healthy benefits. It is also incredibly easy to grow, at least here in Ireland. It is said that you just break up a bulb of garlic into it’s cloves and push each clove into soil right-side-up on the shortest day of the year and harvest it on the shorted day of the year. It takes minimal outdoor space though if you plan on growing your own so you can make this soup on a semi-regular basis, you may need a few acres.
- 50 cloves of garlic, 20 peeled and 30 unpeeled
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 L chicken or vegetable stock
- 150 ml cream
- 100 g finely grated parmesan
- 1 lemon cut into 4 wedges
- Salt and pepper
- Add the 30 unpeeled cloves to a small roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap the tray in tin foil and roast at 180 degrees celsius for 45 minutes.
- Then allow them to cool slightly and remove the cloves from their skins and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, celery and thyme. Stir and cover and allow to sweat for 6 minutes.
- Stir and add the raw and roasted garlic and stir for 3 minutes before adding the stock. Bring to the boil then clamp the lid on and turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer covered for 20 minutes until the raw garlic is soft and fork-tender.
- Blitz in batches in a blender until smooth or use an emersion blender.
- Add the cream and serve.
- To serve, fill 4 bowls with the soup, sprinkle over the parmesan, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and serve with a lemon wedge.