“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.”
― H.G. Wells
Lately, the colder weather has been alright by me, which is odd because I used to haaaaaate the cold. Then again, who likes it when their skin gets super dry, painful cracked lips, frumpy jackets, and that blast of frigid air every time you leave your shower? Don’t think there’s many people reading this right now who are grinning and thinking “that stuff is the best!”. However, there are people out there that like winter and fall. To my surprise, I figured out how I too can enjoy the colder months: my personal enjoyment comes from foods that make me warm, hot drinks, and a closet full of wool, scarves, hats, sweaters, thick socks and the like. Today is quite a cold day, though it was clear skies and sunny all day! Anyway, I think what I will share with you guys right now is a very interesting soup I tried while in France last year: garlic soup -I know what you’re thinking: “garlic soup? Hmm, nope!”. It isn’t what you expect it to be! Seriously, guys, do not be alarmed by the quantity of garlic that goes into this dish, you do not get the pungent/harsh flavor of the garlic because, through the cooking process the garlic becomes a sweet, mellow perfume rather than an intrusive taste. It is great served with some cheesy croutons! A perfect warm-me-up dish.
Creamy Garlic Soup + Cheesy Croutons:
2 garlic bulbs, cloves peeled and chopped
1 potato (any kind of large-ish potato will do)
6 cups chicken stock
150 ml good quality olive oil
125 g bacon slices, finely chopped
3 egg yolks
1 bouquet garni
*Bouquet garni: this is much simpler than the name may suggest. It is a classic French seasoning which consists of a simple bundle of herbs tied together with a kitchen string. This bundle is cooked along with all other ingredients but removed before serving. For the classic version you need: dried or fresh bay leaves (they are quite strong so use sparingly), parsley stalks, fresh thyme. You can also add rosemary as an optional ingredient in your bouquet garni. *
1/2 baguette, sliced
50 g Gruyere cheese, grated
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Cook bacon over medium heat for a few minutes, without browning it. Add the garlic and potato, cook until softened. Add chicken stock and bouquet garni, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potato is so soft it starts to dissolve into the soup.
- In a large bowl put the egg yolks, and in a steady thin stream add the remaining olive oil, whisking until the mixture has thickened. Gradually whisk your hot soup. Strain the soup back into your saucepan (to get all the liquid out, press on your ingredients in the sieve). Heat the soup but do not boil it. Season to taste.
- For the cheesy croutons: Toast your sliced baguette on both sides. Sprinkle with cheese and put in the oven until cheese has melted.
- Place some croutons in each (warmed) bowl and ladle the soup over top the croutons. Or serve as a side component.