Friday, 21 May 2010

Not For You, Sookie

I feel really bad for vampires. I mean aside from the obvious problems of constantly needing to prey on us mortals for sustenance and your friends and loved ones dying of old age while you just carry on living.

Imagine never being able to eat garlic or make out with an Italian! I bet even vampires' significant others have it tough, much like people who are dating a person with a peanut allergy.
You wouldn't be able to have anything with garlic in it, in case when you kissed your vampire, their lips and throat swelled up and they died-died (as opposed to undead-died.)

So Sookie, this recipe is not for you unless Bill stays missing and you finally hook up with Sam.

Can shapeshifters eat garlic?

This garlic soup recipe is a variation on a lovely looking dish that food blogger extraordinaire Wendy Tien at Upstart Kitchen. There are three bulbs of garlic in here, but the flavour is so mellow and golden. You know what I mean, right? I served this as a main course with some toasted sandwiches and it was absolutely beautiful. Stepson went on and on about how tasty this was, which is high praise indeed from him, because he isn't a big soup fan generally. It was wonderful as a main, but would be a fantastic starter if served in cups the way Wendy does.
If you like the mellow sweetness of gently roasted garlic, then this is the soup for you.

Unless you're Sookie.

Velvety Garlic Soup
serves 3 as a main, or 6 as a starter, takes 1 hour

3 bulbs garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 cups olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
500ml (1 pint) free range chicken stock (preferably home made)
1 floury potato (about the size of a tennis ball) peeled and finely diced
2 sprigs thyme
the top of a sprig of rosemary (about 2")
2 bay leaves
100ml (4 oz) double cream (heavy whipping)
2 tsp sherry vinegar
salt and white pepper to taste
truffle oil to serve (optional)

Some of the garlic growing in our garden

Put the garlic cloves and olive oil in a small saucepan over a very low heat. The garlic should be completely submerged in the oil with room to move around. If you need to, add a little more oil. Allow the garlic to poach gently for about 30 minutes, until it is a warm honey colour, floating on the oil and the kitchen smells fragrant. Turn off the heat and let the garlic cool for a few minutes before removing from the oil with a slotted spoon.
What ever you do, don't throw away the oil. It is wonderful used in cooking, or on breads and in salad dressings.

Use a little of the oil in a medium sized saucepan to gently sweat the chopped onion until translucent. Add the garlic cloves, herbs and potato, then add the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potato is completely cooked and the herbs are tender. Remove the herbs, they should be floating on the surface.

Pour the lot into a blender and wazz for 30 seconds or so, until completely smooth and velvety. Return the soup to the pan and add the cream. simmer for a minute, then add the sherry vinegar and seasoning.
Taste to check seasoning before serving in warm bowls. Drizzle with a little truffle oil if you're using it.


  1. You have garlic growing in your garden? Lucky!

    I totally agree, though. Vampires have it rough when it comes to cuisine. Poor fellas.

    This soup reminds me of 44-clove garlic soup, which I've made a few times. Staying true to the always-add-more-garlic-than-the-recipe-calls-for tradition, I can't help but add more cloves than 44, despite the obscene amount already in the soup. :P I bet it's divine with the truffle oil!

  2. Mmm. I would love to try this. I carry gum with me at all times, anyway.

    They should add this to the menu at Merlotte's.

  3. Hmm? Did you peel all that garlic, Emily?
    This sounds delicious. I love soups that qualify as 'velvety'.

  4. Mo, Yeah we grow garlic! It's just about the easiest thing to grow, besides perhaps potatoes and dandelions.
    Ali, That's the nice thing about this garlic flavour. It's not at all repeat-on-you stong. Just lovely and nutty and mellow.
    And Stella, Yep, I peeled all the cloves. Luckily, aside from the garlic I grow, which is a purple Isle of Whight with nice fat cloves, The place I get my garlic from when I run out sells bulbs with nice fat cloves too, so there's no fiddly little ones in the middle to drive you insane.
    I remember that Trader Joe's and Costco sell jars of fresh, peeled garlic cloves though, so you could totally use those instead.

  5. "velvety garlic soup" made my mouth water!

  6. I couldn't agree more...I love garlic, and I could care less how it makes my breath smell. I look forward to giving this a try. Thank you for sharing!

  7. I couldn't live without garlic! I've never had garlic soup though! It sounds delicious- I'd definitely love it!

  8. I love a smooth creamy soup--and saving/reusing the oil brilliant! Bookmarking!