Fact: Muffin loves garlic....loves garlic. If something doesn't have garlic in it, I'm immediately distrustful, of the cookbook, of the cook, whatever, something ain't right. I also have this habit of doubling (at least) the recommended amount. (Insert garlic breath joke of choice here.) So when I discovered the recipe below, it was like it was made just for me. 44 cloves of garlic...in one dish...yum.
This also gave me the opportunity to use one of my favorite kitchen appliances, the immersion blender. If you've ever watched Iron Chef, you've probably seen an industrial one. It's such a nice alternative to the blender or food processor, those space-hogging, horrible to clean, kitchen monsters. I get excited, like a kid at a candy store, every time I get to use it. Ok, so maybe that's an exaggeration (I'm not actually crazy), but it is fun, even if I accidentally spray myself with boiling hot soup mixture in the process.
Garlic peeling trick: place cloves in a metal bowl with a lid and cover it. Pick up the bowl and shake it hard. When you uncover it, voila! They're pretty much peeled or at least loosened from their stubborn peels.
44 Garlic Clove Soup
44 cloves garlic (26 unpeeled, 18 peeled)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
4 c chicken stock
1 c heavy cream
salt & pepper
Toss the 26 unpeeled cloves with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a sealed oven-proof container (I used my all-clad saucepan) and roast at 350 degrees for 45 min. Remove and let cool, then remove the cloves from their skins.
Melt the butter in a large soup pot over med-high heat. Add the onions and thyme and saute until the onions are translucent (about 5 min). Add the raw and roasted garlic cloves and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes (until the raw garlic is quite tender).
Puree the soup mixture.
Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
Serve with thick slices of bread, preferable a rustic white or a baguette.