Saturday, July 12, 2008

Garlic Soup

I probably shouldn't admit this but I never follow the recipe, well, almost never. That's especially true with recipes that get scribbled down while I'm watching a chef on TV. Case in point, this garlic soup.

I modified the original recipe from the Victory Garden because, really, who has 12 heads of garlic on hand? I used two. I also substituted milk for cream to make a "healthier" soup and because I didn't actually have more than a tablespoon of cream left in the fridge anyway. The red pepper and thyme cream that the chef on the show made to go with this soup got a bare nod with thyme leaves as a garnish. You'll note my attitude is that if you don't have enough cream on hand you just have to make do with something else. Normal people would probably just not attempt the dish until they'd been shopping and bought what was needed.

So my cut-down, make-do recipe went something like this:
Two cups of water
Two vegetable bullion cubes, and
Two heads of garlic
went into a pot with a pinch of Kosher salt. That got cooked down for an hour and then strained. I removed the cloves and instead of pushing them through the strainer (because that would be a pain to clean up and I don't have kitchen staff to do that for me) I just chopped them a little, then mashed them with the side of the knife, and added them back to the pot. Still off the heat I also stirred in
1/3 cup milk, and
a squirt of lemon juice.

I did use a whisk, as reccommended, even though it made an extra dish to wash later because I do love whisks. There's just something chef-ish about whisking that makes me think the food is going to taste that much better. The soup went back on the stove over medium heat, stirring (whisking) constantly until it was warmed through. Once in the bowl mine didn't look as pretty as the TV soup (garlic soup by itself is really just kind of beige) so I used a couple drops of cream and a toothpick to make a marbled pattern and sprinkled some thyme leaves on for extra garnish and extra flavor.

It turned out pretty decent, but probably would have been better with the red pepper and thyme cream. And I thought it could have used more garlic, the flavor cooked down to such a mellow sweetness that it didn't have enough zing left for my taste. I think either more garlic or shorter cooking time (or both) might make it stronger. A trip to the grocery for the right supplies probably wouldn't hurt either.

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