Black garlic is a whole garlic bulb that's been fermented over a period of a month. I've been playing around with it recently and really love the tangy flavour it brings to a dish. The downside is that the colour transfer can be less than ideal. So, this recipe doesn't make a bright orange soup - it's more the colour of pumpkin pie filling and benefits from a pretty garnish.
Halfway through this dish I was really disappointed in how it was coming together - the ginger was too hot and the black garlic gave off a funny aftertaste. But in trying to rescue it, the final touches of apple juice, cream and a bit of lemon suddenly transformed into an amazing soup!
I...er...had to stop myself from eating the whole batch for lunch. —Reiney
Grapeseed or vegetable oil
Ginger, peeled and chopped (40g)
Black garlic, whole
Carrots, peeled and chopped (about 5 medium)
Melt butter with oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sweat with a pinch of salt until soft and golden (but not browned), about 5 minutes.
Add ginger and continue to sweat for 3-5 minutes before adding both garlics. Cook garlic for a minute, taking care not to burn the white garlic.
Toss in the carrots and another pinch of salt. Stir over heat to soften briefly, about 3-5 minutes.
Next add the flour and stir it around to toast briefly as it combines with the fat. Then add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are very soft, about 15-20 minutes (the gentler the better).
Puree the soup in a blender for at least 2 minutes, until very smooth. Ideally at this point you'll strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer back into a clean pot, pushing on the fibers to have a perfectly smooth soup. But, hey, it's still going to taste good if you ignore this bit.
Reheat the soup and thin with the apple juice - at this point use your judgment for both taste and texture. If you want a thinner soup you may use even more apple juice (or a bit more veg stock). A good rule of thumb is to thin just until the soup completely disappears when drizzled into itself.
Season to taste with salt - I needed about 2 "three-finger" pinches. At this point the soup can be cooled and set in the fridge if making ahead, and then reheated to continue.
Just before serving, temper the cream into the hot soup.
To do this: remove the pan from the heat, pour the cream into a ladle and then swirl the bottom of the ladle in the hot soup, gradually mixing the two together. This gently heats the cream and prevents it from curdling.