Roasted Garlic Soup
- 2 heads of garlic about 40 cloves – you can get the pre-peeled in a bag, it’s worth it
- 3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ¾ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ cup heavy cream optional
- Preheat oven to 400 °F.
- In an oven safe pot, melt the butter (or heat olive oil) over medium heat and add garlic.
- Cook until garlic is browned (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle flour over the garlic, cover with an oven safe lid or aluminum foil and put into the oven for 20-25 minutes until garlic is extremely soft.
- Remove pot from oven and put back onto stovetop over medium heat.
- Add in wine and stir until flour is all dissolved.
- Add in stock and salt, and cook until slightly thickened and bubbly.
- Buzz the garlic soup with a stick blender until smooth, then stir in thyme (and cream if using) and serve with crusty bread.
My Crusty Bread recipe has its very own post now! You can find it here.
Obligatory Fictional Backstory
As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I love garlic. So much so, in fact, that I decreed that I would marry the man who brought me the most garlic. Many tried, many failed, but my husband succeeded by purchasing all of the garlic produced by a local garlic farm and having it hauled to my abode in a 56 foot trailer. We celebrate our 12th anniversary this year, and to commemorate and celebrate using the last of the garlic dowry I knew I wanted to create something special. And thus, Garlic Soup was born.
Did you know that garlic has many health benefits? None proven, of course (and the following statements have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA), but rumor has it that it boosts your immune system, reduces blood pressure, regulates cholesterol, keeps vampires away, may prevent Alzheimer’s, detoxify heavy metals in your body and wards off the “evil eye”.
Garlic: The Plant. The Myth. The Legend. (courtesy of American Folklore)
GARLIC SUPERSTITIONS & FOLKLORE
- According to Pliny, garlic and onions were invoked as deities by the Egyptians at the taking of oaths. The inhabitants of Pelusium in lower Egypt, who worshipped the onion, are said to have held both it and garlic in aversion as food.
- Egyptian slaves were given a daily ration of garlic, as it was believed to ward off illness and to increase strength and endurance. As indicated in ancient Egyptian records, the pyramid builders were given beer, flatbread, raw garlic and onions as their meager food ration. Upon threatening to abandon the pyramids leaving them unfinished, they were given more garlic. It cost the Pharaoh today’s equivalent of 2 million dollars to keep the Cheops pyramid builders supplied with garlic.
- During the reign of King Tut, fifteen pounds of garlic would buy a healthy male slave. Indeed, when King Tut’s tomb was excavated, there were bulbs of garlic found scattered throughout the rooms.
- When Moses led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt (around 1,200BC), they complained of missing the finer things in life – fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic.
- The Koreans of old ate pickled garlic before passing through a mountain path, believing that tigers disliked it.
- In Mohammed’s writings, he equates garlic with Satan when he describes the feet of the Devil as he was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Where his left foot touched the earth, garlic sprang up, while onion emerged from the footprint of his right foot.
- In Palestinian tradition, if the bridegroom wears a clove of garlic in his buttonhole, he is assured a successful wedding night. Among practitioners of Auryvedic medicine, garlic is held in high regard as an aphrodisiac and for its ability to increase semen.
- Garlic was placed by the ancient Greeks on the piles of stones at cross-roads, as a supper for Hecate — a goddess of the wilderness and childbirth, or for protection from demons. The garlic was supposed to the evil spirits and cause them to lose their way.
- Greek athletes would take copious amounts of garlic before competition, and Greek soldiers would consume garlic before going into battle.
- It became custom for Greek midwives to hang garlic cloves in birthing rooms to keep the evil spirits away. As the centuries passed, this ancient custom became commonplace in most European homes.
- Roman soldiers ate garlic to inspire them and give them courage. Because the Roman generals believed that garlic gave their armies courage, they planted fields of garlic in the countries they conquered, believing that courage was transferred to the battlefield.
- Homer reported that Ulysses owed his escape from Circe to “yellow garlic”.
- The herbalist Culpepper linked garlic with the planet Mars, a fiery planet also connected with blood.
- European folklore gives garlic the ability to ward off the “evil eye”. Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against devils, werewolves, and vampires. To ward off vampires, garlic could be worn on one’s person, hung in windows, or rubbed on chimneys and keyholes. When diseases caused by mosquito bites were considered “The touch of the vampire,” garlic came in handy as a mosquito repellent.
- Alexander Neckam, a writer of the 12th century, recommends garlic as a palliative of the heat of the sun in field labor.
- Dreaming that there is “garlic in the house” is supposedly lucky; to dream about eating garlic means you will discover hidden secrets.
- This old Welsh saying may indeed have merit as a health remedy: “Eat leeks in March and garlic in May, Then the rest of the year, your doctor can play.”