Kitchen Garden Guides

Monday, August 8, 2011

What do you do with Sprouting Garlic?

image 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.


(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.

Garlic Soup

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)


Kirsty said...

We've got lots of sprouting fellows in our cupboard - and a few still ok. Used 12 cloves in dinner. Garlic mushroom with garlic silverbeet on sour dough - bruschetta. Delicious and feel like a cold is lurking so hopefully it will vanquish the sniffles. I am definitely making this soup this week - everyone loves garlic in my house. Have planted even more garlic this year so will have to remember to gift more of them for xmas - the loveliest of gluts to have.

Tanya said...

That is SO me and I am SO there with it. Thank you so much and I love the French version too.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Eat garlic sprouts? In Spain they make a gazpacho with garlic and almonds. It's strong but good.

Anonymous said...

Here's another French recipe for an abundance of garlic.

separate the bulbs from 12 heads of garlic (yes 12)

place in a saucepan and cover with about 500ml grape seed oil, ( or another mild oil)heat until the oil just trembles and cook like this for about 30 min.

Take of the heat and allow to cool.

Drain, reserving the oil which is brilliant for using in salad dressings.

Sqeeze out the garlic pulp into a bowl, add just a little of the oil to make a paste, then either pot into small jars topping with oil to preserve or fill ice cube trays and freeze,

This is lovely used as a spread or as a usefull addition to salad dressings, but I'm sure that you would be able to find loads of uses for this scrummy paste

Kate said...

Oh.... Anonymous, you are a star! Thanks. How long will this last?

Maggie said...

Wow I would love to make this soup but I have no sprouting garlic.

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

I love the story attached to this recipe Kate. I'll pretend I can understand the French part, and then quickly skim down to the translation. Yum.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Love your post! All that luscious garlic...mmmm...thanks for the soup recipe! I've never had garlic soup. But I love roasted garlic in a vegie lasagne!

Anonymous said...

Kate, Thank you for your kind words,this paste if covered with a thin film of oil in a small jar will last indefinately,(I bottle several, using old anchovie jars) or until you decide you need to use it then either cover with another film of oil or use within a week.(I mention a week as in our house once opened the jar is like honey to bees, irristable)

One of our favourite ways to use this paste is to dry fry slices of french bread,spread thinly with the garlic paste,cover with slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and skinned red peppers,season with sea salt and pepper then sprinkle with some shredded basil, this is just so scrummy.

Another way is to use it in french dressing,or even any dressing it adds a certain 'je ne sais quoi', not as harsh as fresh garlic but distinct nevertheless.

I hope this has been of some help.

Kate said...

Thanks again, Anonymous. Today might just be the day I make my first batch.

Anonymous said...

Kate, I will be interested as to how you get on.

chaiselongue1 said...

Lovely to have this reminder of the night we all ate Marie-Sylvie's garlic soup, made by her! This is a wonderful western/northern French recipe - I know because I've eaten it - here in the Mediterranean region it would probably be made with olive oil and without cream, different but also delicious.