Author Notes: This delicious and comforting soup will cure whatever ails you. Many people would be afraid of using so much garlic for a meal, but the flavor of the simmered cloves is incredibly mellow and almost sweet. It is based on a recipe from the great Madeleine Kamman from the Auvergne region of France. One taste of this fabulous (and easy to make!) soup and you'll be hooked. The cheesy crouton makes it a meal. —We Are Never Full
cloves of garlic (3 to 4 heads), separated and crushed in skins
ounces pancetta or bacon
cups beef stock (or veal stock), warm
cup dry white wine
cup parsley, chopped
cup shredded gruyere cheese
4 to 6
pieces of baguette or country bread, lightly toasted
salt and pepper to taste
- Separate each clove of garlic from the head and crush lightly with the side of a knife. Do not remove the skin.
- Reserve one clove. Peel it and chop it finely. Keep for later use.
- Cut pancetta into cubes (or bacon into 1-inch pieces). Gently render the pancetta/bacon in a large stockpot, until pieces are golden brown.
- Add flour and stir into the fat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it gets some color.
- Gradually add warm stock to roux, stirring constantly.
- Bring to a boil and add the garlic. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the white wine with the egg yolks in a 1-quart measuring jug.
- After 45 minutes, strain soup through a sieve, or use a slotted spoon to remove garlic and skins. Return soup to pot.
- Slowly add several ladle-fulls of the simmering liquid to the eggs and wine to gently heat (temper) the yolks. (You slowly add some of the liquid so that when you add the yolks to the soup, it won't cook the eggs).
- Add the egg yolk mixture back to the stock pot and stir well.
- Reheat soup until it shows a few bubbles. Do not allow to boil.
- Taste and correct seasoning to your liking with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Take the reserved garlic clove you minced finely and mash it along with chopped parsley (to make a persillade). They will almost smash together to become one.
- Place a bread slice in bottom of soup bowl, top with the shredded cheese, sprinkle with persillade.and ladle soup over top (the warm soup will melt the cheese slightly).
- Enjoy with a rough red table wine and extra bread. Finish meal with something minty, you’ll need it.