Garlic (and Mushroom) Soup
The original recipe came from Cooks Illustrated Soups and Stews book.
My cousin Johanna and I made this for a family meal, and added
mushrooms, which added a lot to it, for everyone. But the broth itself
was so incredible, that I would definitely still recommend it as
One of the nice things about the recipe is that you don't have to
peel or cut a ton of garlic - in fact, you get to use a mallet or meat
pounder to smash up a few heads of garlic, which is quite satisfying!
The original recipe has instructions for making your own croutons, which we didn't do. It also has the following info before the recipe:
- 4 medium heads garlic (about 11 ounce total) smashed (see directions below)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 2 cups water
- 2 parmesan cheese rinds, each about 5 by 2 inches (I think I had only one of these, and grated a bit of cheese into the broth, and it worked fine)
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large
eggs, beaten lightly
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and
ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- Optional: 1 lb
mushrooms of your choice, sliced, and sautéed with butter, and towards the end,
garlic (you don't want the garlic to burn!). We used shitake, and it was
To smash the garlic:
Put the whole, unpeeled, garlic heads into two 1-gallon zipper-lock plastic bags (doubled up to prevent leaks). Use a meat pounder, a rubber mallet, or the bottom of a small skillet to smash the cloves until they are reduced to 1/4-inch long shards or bits. Large pieces of skin should be picked out, but otherwise the entire mixture can be poached in oil. The remaining skins are removed when the broth is strained.
This recipe must be served once the eggs have been added. If you
want to prepare the liquid base in advance, strain the liquid as
directed in step 5 and then refrigerate in an airtight container for
up to 2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the liquid, take the pan
off the heat, cool slightly, and then stir in the egg mixture and
hot red pepper flakes. We had leftovers from our double-batch,
and it served up the next day just FINE!
- Bring the smashed garlic, olive oil, and 1 cup of chicken stock to a simmer
in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the garlic is
soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon, about 35 minutes. My note:
Don't be hungry during this step or you will go mad - this smells DIVINE!
Meanwhile, bring the remaining 6 cups chicken stock, water, Parmesan rinds,
parsley, thyme, and bay leaves to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the stock is flavorful, about 30
Transfer the simmered garlic mixture to the pot with the chicken stock. Increase
the heat to medium-high and boil until the garlic flavor is infused into the
stock, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and grated cheese in a small bowl with a fork until
Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, pushing on the solids with a
spoon to extract all the liquid. Return the stock to a clean large saucepan (off
heat) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the hot red pepper
flakes and the egg mixture. My note: I think we may have omitted the red
pepper flakes, I don't recall now. 1/4 tsp isn't a whole lot though, so unless
you're super sensitive, this isn't going to make things spicy.
Add sauteed mushrooms, if using.
Add several croutons to individual bowls, ladle the soup over the croutons, and
serve immediately. My note: We didn't do croutons. The mushrooms were plenty
of body and the whole thing was SO good!