I've had a bad cold all week, and it's destroyed my appetite. This soup changed that. Plus, it didn't require a trip to the grocery store -- something I definitely don't have the energy for right now. Another lazy bonus to this recipe is that the croutons and the garlic both want a 350°F oven, so you can make them at the same time.
For the broth, I used the tomato water leftover from a can of whole tomatoes, but feel free to substitute with any other flavorful liquid. —linzarella
Test Kitchen Notes
linzarella's soup is extremely flavorful and complex despite its relative simplicity. The crème fraîche adds a great creaminess and the poached egg added both heft and more flavor. My husband said this was reminiscent of a gazpacho -- "hotzpacho" as he called it. The croutons were a great additional element but we didn't see any reason that they be made from olive bread (versus any other bread) and without them, the soup would still be good and easily stand on its own. Overall, a yummy dish! I have a wicked cold myself, and this did feel and taste good going down. —em-i-lis
Put the garlic cloves in a baking dish and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add a little bit of water to the bottom of the pan to yield more roasted garlic pulp. Roast at 350°F for 45 - 60 minutes. When cool, remove and discard the skins, and set aside the cloves.
Heat the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion and thyme and cook until the onion is fragrant and translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add vinegar (add half here, and more to taste later if you like) and scrape up any bits of onion that may have gotten stuck to the bottom of your pan. Then add the reserved roasted garlic, the tomato liquid, and water. Cook at a bare simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Let the soup cool enough that it won't explode your blender, then puree it. Return it to the pot and heat it up again. Pour into bowls, and serve with a generous dollop of creme fraiche, olive croutons, egg, and parsley.
Trim the crusts off the bread and slice it into bite-sized pieces. Put the pieces in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread on a large baking sheet (don't overcrowd!) and bake at 350°F until golden brown, 10-20 minutes.