Monday, April 24, 2017

Garlic Soup

     This classic Spanish/Mexican soup contains no common allergens. It is traditionally served with a poached egg in it and some bread on the side, but is a delicious, mellow soup on its own. It is not at all pungent, as the garlic is thoroughly cooked. Just be sure to use a separate pot for finishing with a poached egg if eggs are an issue for someone at your house. 

     1 head of garlic
     olive or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     8 cups of good chicken broth (See Broth in the Glossary)
     2 sprigs of epazote, either fresh or dried (See Produce or Spices in the 
     black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     chopped chives, parsley or cilantro (See Produce in the Glossary)
     optional: eggs

     Break open the head of garlic. Remove the outer peels and the stems; do not peel the individual cloves. Place them in a very narrow saucepan and add enough oil to cover (probably about 1/3 cup). Cook at very low heat until the garlic cloves are quite soft, probably 20-25 minutes. Pour the garlic and oil into a medium soup pot and add the broth, the epazote, a good sprinkle of black pepper, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.

     Remove the epazote. Strain out the garlic. You can now easily crush the garlic cloves and remove the peels. Mash the garlic thoroughly and stir it back into the soup.

     Optional: To finish with an egg, bring one bowlful of soup to a boil in a small saucepan.  Break one egg and gently slide it into the soup.  Turn the heat down to barely simmering and poach the egg just until the white is cooked. Gently transfer to a bowl. (I recommend transferring the egg with a slotted spoon and then pouring the broth into the bowl.)

     Garnish with chopped chives, parsley or cilantro and serve with lime wedges and bread.