So I have decided it's time to share the cure. Yes, I'm quite serious.
A few years ago, I attended a party in which the soup served as the second course was "Creole Garlic Soup". It was so good, most of us thought we could likely live on this soup for the rest of our lives, and I believe all of us wrote down the recipe before we left.
It was several months before I made the soup, but as summer turned into fall, the heat came on indoors, and the days grew shorter, I realized it was time to think about making soup. So during the week I gathered my ingredients, dug out the recipe and went to sleep Friday night with dreams of garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme.
I woke up Saturday morning with one of the worst and most acute headcolds I have ever had. But I still ventured out into the raw, cold, rainy November day to purchase the final ingredients for my soup.
Loaded up on decongestants, washing my hands until they were chapped, I joked with my roommate that I was going to cook up the cure for the common cold. So for a couple of hours, the warm cozy apartment took on the strong aroma of garlic, which even wafted into the hallway.
I do believe one of my neighbors was cured of something just by walking past our door.
I ate two bowls of the soup that evening, amazed I could even taste it. And the next day, my cold was quite literally 90% better. I had gone from misery to a small case of the sniffles.
So without further ado, here is the recipe for this wonderful soup:
DISCLAIMER: The ingredients are on the consertive end; adjust to your own taste, and don't be afraid to add more garlic! But I would advise using the old adage "less is more" the first time you make it, but once you have an idea as to what it is like, you can better adjust according to your own taste.
* 1/3 C. whole garlic cloves
* 1 Tbsp minced garlic
* 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic
* 1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
* 1 tsp fresh basil or 1/4 tsp drid basil
* 4 cans of vegetable broth (or 2 32 oz boxes of Swanson's vegetable broth)
(( I recommend low sodium))
* 1 medium onion
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1/3 C. Half-and-Half (I use fat-free)
* 1/3 C. parmesan cheese - shredded
* Creole seasoning
* Day-Old French or Italian bread
1. Add onions and some of the garlic cloves to a large soup pan with the T. of olive oil. When the onions begin to turn clear or brownish (don't over cook!), add the broth, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring this to a boil.
2. When the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.
3. In the meantime, make your croutons: Cube the bread, approximately 2-3 cups, and toast in the oven at 300 degrees. Remove from heat, place in a paper sack, coat with apx. 1 - 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and season with the Creole seasoning. (This is spicy- be conservative at first!). Set the croutons aside.
NOTE: THE CROUTONS CAN BE MADE IN ADVANCE
4. When the soup has simmered for the 40 minutes, add apx 1 1/2 C. of the croutons and stir in with a wire whisk until they have mostly dissolved. At this point, the whole garlic cloves should be "mushy".
5. Remove the bay leaf
6. Add the half-and-half and parmesan cheese and immediately remove the soup from heat.
7. If you have a hand-mixer, use this to blend the soup to a smooth consistency. You may also pour the soup into a blender.
8. Serve immediately and garnish with the remaining croutons, parmesan, and creole seasoning.
**** the half-and-half, parmesan and bread can be omitted for a thinner broth-type soup with all the great flavor!