I made garlic soup for my NYT Essential Cook Book project. Soup is tasty and fabulous; we’re having another nasty cold snap, and soup is also warm. Mmm, soup.
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 large heads garlic (about 36 cloves), peeled and roughly chopped
- 8 cups water
- 3 ounces vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces
- 6 large eggs, separated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan or a small pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute; do not brown the garlic. Add the water and season with salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain the cooking liquid and reserve the garlic. Put the garlic and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in a blender or food processor and blend to a fine puree.
- Put the remaining cooking liquid in a saucepan, add the puree, and bring to a boil. Add the vermicelli, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes; do not overcook.
- Meanwhile, blend the egg yolks and vinegar in a bowl.
- Turn off the heat under the saucepan. Drop in the egg whites and cover the pan. Do not stir–they will form a cloud-like mixture. When the whites are fully cooked, add the egg yolk mixture and stir very slowly. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
I made the recipe as above, but I omitted the vermicelli and had lovely crusty bread instead. I just don’t like tiny bits of pasts in my soup. There were a few issues: the soup didn’t taste garlicky enough for me, so next time I’ll cook the garlic longer, possibly even letting it get a little brown. My egg whites ended up being a big gross clump on the bottom of the pan instead of the cloud-like mixture promised–I ended up straining the soup a second time to get rid of them. Was the bottom of my pan too hot? Did I wait too long before the next step? And finally, the soup had way too much acid. I’ll use a lot less vinegar next time; for this to be edible, I added some parmesan to cut the acid. The next day I took the leftover soup to Jazi’s house. We added some cooked potatoes, and a pinch of sugar to cut the vinegar, and a touch more pepper. That made it pretty much perfect.