I first had garlic soup a few years ago when visiting my friend Edith in Romania. Her mother had prepared it, and I thought it was absolutely delicious. As soon as I came back to Belgium, I set about recreating it so as to be able to introduce my family to it. They all loved it and I still prepare it from time to time when the mood strikes me. Which has been the case today. Here's the recipe I came up with...
- 3–4 tbsp olive oil
- 24 garlic cloves (or thereabouts)
- 2 medium size onions
- 1 glass dry white wine
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (I use chicken)
- 1 bay leaf
- 120 g white bread, torn into pieces
- salt, pepper
- 20 cl liquid cream
- a few sprigs of chives
Peal and roughly chop the onions and garlic. Heat up the oil in a large saucepan, under medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently for a few minutes until translucent. Add the garlic. Cook under low heat, without letting the onions and garlic brown, for about 20 to 25 minutes until soft. Cooking the garlic a long time will diminish the intensity of its taste.
Augment the heat a little and add the white wine. Leave to simmer for a few minutes.
Add the stock and the bay leaf. Cover. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Add the bread pieces, mix, cover and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Pour the soup into a blender and mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, re-heat the soup a little, then add the cream and mix it with the soup.
Serve immediately, topped with a few chopped chives.