Transcendent Garlic Soup

by Jeff Berkowitz on February 17, 2010 · 9 comments

in garlic,Soup

Garlic Soup

A family favorite, this soup is simple to prepare and delicious. After hearing about our next post idea, our oldest daughter who is attending college away from home , wanted to know if we could send her some frozen soup.  Alas, it does not re-heat well and there are rarely left-overs. There are a lot of recipes out there for this soup, but every recipe we have tried has left us wanting more… garlic flavor. Here we sauté the garlic to bring out its nutty flavor and add heavy cream to protect the yolks and to give the soup a subtle richness.  Rosemary and black peppercorns are not traditional but we think it adds a nice complexity to the soup. Don’t be afraid of the amount of garlic; boiling them until they are soft removes the harshness and pungency. You won’t need a breath mint afterward.

Recipe: serves 4-6

  • 1  1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 whole heads of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1 in. rosemary spring (small piece)
  • 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 6 egg yolks + 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated + more for serving
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • freshly ground black pepper

Separate the cloves and smash the garlic a bit with the side of a knife to peel the cloves. Heat a medium saucepan and add 1  1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. When you begin to smell the oil, add the garlic cloves. Sauté until about 1/2 of the cloves have just a hint of color. Add the water, herbs, and peppercorns. Simmer for 45 minutes, until the garlic is soft. Remove any stems or leaves from the herbs and puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to a slow simmer. Combine the egg yolks and the heavy cream in a bowl. Add a few ladles of the soup to the egg yolk and cream mixture to temper the yolks. Add to the soup, stir to incorporate, then add the cheese. Make sure not to boil the soup after the yolks have been added. Serve over croutons with extra cheese, a twist of freshly ground pepper to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil.


Cut day-old bread or a crusty bread into cubes, drizzle with your favorite oil and toss to distribute. You can cook them in a 350° oven or on the stove top in a sauté pan until they are done (approx. 15 minutes). Sprinkle with cheese and/or your favorite seasoning, i.e. garlic powder, salt, pepper…

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tracy November 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm

This looks amaaaazzzzzing…I’m wondering if it is flavorful enough as is, or if using some chicken stock would add to it…?


2 Jeff Berkowitz November 1, 2010 at 10:00 pm

This soup is great on its own, but a good chicken stock wouldn’t hurt. Come to think of it…there is very little in life that a good chicken stock would not make better. 😉


3 Tracy November 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm

True that!!

I am off to make it now…going to do 3 cups stock and 3 cups water…will let you know how it goes.

Thank you for your creative recipes and great tips!


4 Jeff Berkowitz November 2, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I am waiting with bated breath to hear of your success…I have full confidence that it will be great!


5 Aileen March 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

This looks sooooooooooo good – This is now definitely on my list of recipes to try soon !
.-= Aileen´s last blog ..Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream – NO ICE CREAM MAKER NEEDED =-.


6 yvonne February 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm

This I will definitely try – I love garlic and I love soup – having them together will be heaven.


7 Jeff February 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

@Yvonne: Let us know how it turned out.


8 Sarah Berkowitz February 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Ah, but when we had this for thanksgiving it did reheat well! I ate the rest of it the next day after putting it in the microwave for about a minute I think. This garlic soup really is transcendent…still wish you could send me some! haha


9 Jeff February 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

If you were to have some left-over, it would need to be reheated gently because of the yolks and the cheese. Definitely, no boiling. Wish I could send you some too…


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