Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fresh Garlic Soup

A wintry mix

I found inspiration in my basket of garlic

Garlic is so easy to grow, it's a mystery to me why it's not more widely grown. Here in south western New Hampshire, I plant garlic the last week of October, just before the ground freezes. I save the biggest cloves from the summer's harvest for planting. I plant them four inches apart, one inch deep, in a raised bed filled with good garden soil, rich with compost. Cover the entire bed with three inches of hay, then I sit back and wait for spring. That's it! In spring, as soon as the ground thaws, the garlic starts growing without any help from me.

Garlic bed in early spring

They're ready to be picked when four bottom leaves turn yellow and start to brown. To harvest, I gently pull them out of the ground, brush off the extra soil and hang them in the garage to cure for winter storage.

I grow more than a hundred heads of garlic every year to share with friends and to make this fabulous soup. Plant some garlic next fall and you'll never look back.

Fresh Garlic Soup

I came up with this recipe a few years back when a bumper crop of fresh garlic sent me scurrying for ways to use garlic. This soup is quick and easy, comes together in an instant. Don't be afraid of the amount of garlic, it'll come out creamy, mellow and delicious. Like chicken soup, it's a cure for any winter colds. Enjoy it piping hot by the fire and you can almost ignore the wintry weather outside. Here's the recipe:

2 heads of garlic
4 cups of water
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
6 sage leaves
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper

Separate the garlic into cloves, leave unpeeled. In a soup pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add garlic cloves and boil 8 minutes. Drain and peel the garlic cloves. Return them to the pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Boil gently uncovered, until garlic is meltingly soft, about ten minutes. Remove sage leaves and puree soup in a blender or food processor. Salt and pepper to taste. Served with warm crusty bread and salad, it makes a light comforting supper for two.

This is my first entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by
Chriesi of Almond Corner.


buddhagirl said...

yum---mmy! am going to ask will to make this... so good to see a new recipe from you! thanks for the india info from your yoga teacher... it's been a crazy couple of weeks - writing comments for my students and the holiday bazaar my school put together... hope you are well!

whmjr said...

I am definitely going to make this, and I added your blog to my iGoogle page. -=W=-

Ting said...

Hey Jen and Will, thanks for your comments. I hope you do make the soup, it's good defense against the winter colds that seem to thrive in the classrooms.

whmjr said...

T. We made the soup yesterday. It was so very good. Jenn says it is like drinking garlic bread. I might add noodles or dumplings to it next time.

Karin said...

Hi Ting,
This is Jennifer's friend, Karin, and I have to say I have been hearing daily RAVES about this soup from her ever since Will made it!! I'm vegan, so I plan to try it with Imagine's veggie "not-chicken" organic stock :)

Nice to 'meet' you here in cyber-land!

Ting said...

Hi Karen,
I feel like I already know you. Have heard a lot about you from J and been silently following your blog. I love your art, especially the pages from your books.

I hope you make a vegan version of this soup as i have several close friends who are vegan and would love to hear how yours turned out.