I love garlic. It's rare that I cook a meal without it, that's how much we both love it. So when I saw Michael Chiarello's recipe for Poached Garlic Soup on the Food Network site, I knew I had to make it.
I hadn't poached garlic before, but as per his recipe, poaching it a few times takes away the heat and leaves the sweetness behind. I guess that would be a good thing since this recipe calls for 2 cups of garlic cloves.
With that much garlic needed, I bought the cloves already peeled - a first for me. I'm glad I did...peeling this much garlic probably would have made me crazy. Especially since having my daughter near me in her high chair was the only way I was able to cook this soup (and see, I even gave her a spoon to play with so she felt like she was helping...).
And when the soup was done, I let her taste it. I'm happy to say that I think she's going to be a garlic lover too (she better be in this house!). She didn't even make a face, and was even looking at my mug for more!
This soup was pretty straight-forward and easy, as long as you have the garlic already peeled. Otherwise, I think it would have taken an additional 30 minutes to prep!
- 2 c garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 c onion, diced
- 1 c finely chopped leek, white parts only (I used one leek)
- 1/2 c diced celery
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp grey salt (I used Kosher salt)
- 1 c diced, peeled, Russet potato
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 c chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves (I used a few pinches dried oregano)
- 4 c roughly chopped spinach leaves
- 1 c heavy cream (I used light cream)
- Cut the garlic cloves in half lengthwise and remove the central, greenish core. Put the cloves in a small pan of salted water, and bring to a boil. Drain. Repeat this boiling step twice to remove the garlic's heat and leave only the sweetness behind.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, leek, celery, bay leaf, and a little salt. Cover and cook until the veggies are soft, but not brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes.
- Add the blanched garlic and chicken stock/broth.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Michael's note, summarized: the soup can be made up to this point, cooled, kept in the fridge, and finished when ready to serve.
- Add the oregano, spinach, and cream.
- Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. I used my handheld immersion blender.