Over the past week, I had the cold bug that’s making the rounds. And when you have a cold, what do you want? Soup. At least, I do. I ate the soup I had on hand in cans (which I stockpile for occasions like this), but then I wanted more. So I started going through my cookbooks and found a recipe for Garlic Soup in Joanne Harris’ My French Kitchen. Harris is the author of many books, including the popular novel Chocolat, and is part French, so she knows her French food. This cookbook includes some of the recipes featured in that novel, and that she’s learned throughout her life. This is, apparently, her great-aunt’s recipe, and it’s divine.
Don’t worry about it being too garlicky. It really isn’t. When garlic is roasted it becomes buttery and mild and delicious. Be sure to use young, really fresh garlic so that you get nice soft bits after its roasted. The original recipe made enough for six, but I dialed back the portions to a nice big 1 person serving (I have deep bowls so it was one bowl. If you have regular bowls, this could be one bowl per person).
You will need a blender or an immersion blender for this recipe.
French Garlic Soup
Adapted from Joanne Harris’ My French Kitchen
(I’m giving you the original proportions here, with my changes afterwards)
5 heads of garlic, cut in half (be careful when you do this!)
4 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quarts hot water
Dried thyme (about 1 tbsp.)
sea salt (Maldon is great!)
freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. elbow macaroni
Heat oven to 275 degrees.
Drizzle the oil over a rimmed baking sheet and put the cut garlic bulbs on it. Roast for one to 1 1/2 hours, until garlic is soft and golden.
Remove the garlic from the oven and when it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze out the garlic flesh. Put in saucepan with the oil from the baking sheet and mash with a spoon. Over medium heat, mix in the flour so it absorbs the oil and makes a roux. Slowly pour in the hot water, stirring constantly. Add the thyme, salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and use immersion blender (or regular blender) to make the soup smooth. Return to heat, add pasta, and cook for three minutes. (The pasta won’t be cooked through, probably, but that’s OK! It will get softer as you eat.) Add parsley just before serving and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, thyme) to taste.
For one person: (a big bowl) 3 heads of garlic (but I like garlic); 2 tbsp. EVOO; a scant tbsp. flour; 3/4 c. hot water; 2 tsp. thyme; sea salt and pepper to taste; 1 oz. macaroni (I eyeballed it, and I like macaroni, so I might have added more); a bit of parsley