You'd think after 53 years I would have changed a bit.... well I guess in some ways I have but I tell you what, I still keep far too many home-grown garlic heads for eating. Here I am, by myself, and yet I have a shelf full of left-over garlic in my sauna (ok, that's another story... but its well insulated, dark and dry!). I eat heaps of garlic; barely a day would go by without some garlic consumed but I always overestimate how much I am going to be able to eat before they start to sprout, or maybe I think that THIS year they really won't sprout because I have read about a better way of lifting and storing them.
So, the gist is, everyone who grows too much garlic finds it sprouting in the cupboard at one time or other in the year and, desperate not to waste a single clove that grew in the garden for so many months, suddenly needs recipes using heads, not cloves, of garlic!
When I was in France I was invited to a neighbour's house for dinner and was served home made garlic soup. I loved it so much I asked for the recipe, which was kindly written down for me, in French. The thing is, French women know how to cook. They don't need many directions or quantities in their recipes and so it was that this garlic soup recipe sat in my care, untested, and in French for a couple of years..... until now!
Last week I had a bucket full of sprouting garlic, a recipe to translate and a plan: test out the soup , make up a bag with 4 heads of garlic, a sprig of thyme and a copy of Marie-Sylvie's recipe and sell them at the market! Hey presto, I sold them all on Sunday and am still enjoying the soup I made to test it out.... not sure if my friends are noticing I am literally consuming a head of garlic per day though!!
Well, here it is.... It is beautiful, surprisingly simple and not at all overpowered by an intense garlic taste. I even had an email from one happy customer who wrote to me via the email address on my price tags.... and called the soup she had just made and eaten, sensational. Nice.
Thanks Marie-Sylvie..... bon appetit.
SOUPE A L’AIL
(Marie-Sylvie, Pindrat, Sept 2008)
Ingrédients : Ail - environ 1 tête par personne
Pommes de terre - 1 moyenne par personne
Thym 1 petit bouquet de thym
Sel et poivre
Crème fraîche (petit pot)
Eplucher l’ail, le couper en tranches fines et faire revenir doucement dans huile ou graisse de canard, il ne faut pas qu’il roussisse.
Eplucher et couper les pommes de terre en lamelle ou morceaux pas trop gros. Les ajouter à l’ail.
Saupoudrer de farine.
Ajouter la branche de thym
Saler et poivrer
Mettre environ 1 litre d’eau pour 4 personnes
Laisser cuire 25 / 30 mn
Mixer, ajouter la crème fraîche et servez très chaud dans une soupière où vous aurez préalablement mis des croûtons frottés à l’ail.
Translated from Marie-Sylvie’s recipe, Pindrat, France 2008
1 head of garlic / person
1 potato / person
a sprig of thyme
Salt and pepper
Crème fraiche or: cream mixed with sour cream
Peel the garlic, finely slice, fry very gently in oil or duck fat. Do not brown.
Peel and dice the potato and add to the oil.
Sprinkle in some flour, add the thyme, salt and pepper.
Slowly add water; about 1 litre for 4 people.
Simmer 25 – 30 mins.
Puree then add the cream mixture to taste.
Serve very hot perhaps with croutons. (I shredded a slice of my sourdough bread into my bowl of soup.... perfect)