Sometimes, I wonder if my taste buds have developed an immunity to garlic because I eat it so often. I always tend to double the amount of garlic in a recipe and I find that “too garlicky” is not a phrase in my lexicon (much like “too sweet”). I’ve been meaning to make this soup for ages because it’s pretty much pure garlic. In two forms! About half the garlic is roasted, giving it a mellow, sweet flavor, and the rest is quickly sauteed and then simmered with the stock to make a slightly more noticeable garlic flavor but nothing overwhelming. I know that 44 cloves of garlic sounds like a whole lot for one little batch of soup, but trust me on this.
Normally, I’m not a huge fan of soup without some…stuff…in it (which is why I’ve never warmed to tomato soup). It stands to reason that this wouldn’t really be my thing, but since I love garlic—especially roasted—so much, I knew I’d like this soup. And I was right (as I always am. Ahem.) As an added bonus, because there are no carbs in this soup, you can pair it with a super cheesy & delicious panini, which I always want to do when I eat soups but typically avoid since the soup tends to already have pasta or potatoes or croutons or what have you.
Tom liked this recipe so much that when he went grocery shopping the following week, he asked what ingredients he needed to make it himself (of course, he didn’t actually go through with it but, you know, it still says something).
I made this soup up to the point of blending it, but then I refrigerated it. The next day, I just heated it on the stove, added the cream, and it was ready to go. The soup is easy enough to make (incredibly easy, actually), but since the garlic needs time to roast, making it in full on a weeknight isn’t really feasible for us. Soups, thankfully, are great as leftovers or when they’ve been sitting, so this is a perfect make-ahead recipe if you want to enjoy it on a weeknight.
Roasted Garlic Soup with Lemon and Parmesan
26 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
2 small-medium oni0ns, diced
1.5 tsp. minced thyme
18 cloves garlic, peeled
3.5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish or pie pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 40 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, and then squeeze garlic between fingertips to release the cloves into a bowl.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven (I used a 3 qt. pot) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Stir in the roasted garlic cloves, and the 18 raw garlic cloves; cook 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to saucepan (if using a regular blender), add the cream, and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over the top. Serve lemon wedges alongside, and squeeze as much juice as desired into the bowls.
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