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Author Notes: Saturday is about the only day I can add recipes, so I keep missing the deadline on these. But I am not going to let that stop me from sharing my Garlic Bread Soup recipe, 'cuz I know you'll like it! Garlic soup has a long and splendid tradition in Italy. There are countless versions from all areas of the country. There are Croatian, Spanish and Greek versions that I know of too. So there is plenty of room to squeeze my interpretation into the mix. —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
- 1 pound onions, roughly chopped
- 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and white pepper, to taste
- 1 (4 inch) piece of parmgiano-reggiano rind only
- 1 tablespoon mixed herbs (parsley, thyme, etc)
- 4 slices stale garlic bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 quart chicken stock, plus more if necessary
- 1 pound steamed clams per person (optional)
- 5 stems of thyme, leaves removed stems discarded
- additional parmgiano-reggiano for topping
- very good extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat sauté onions and garlic in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Add a pinch or two of salt and a bit of white pepper. Do not let the mixture fry. Small gentle bubbles should form around the edge of the pan and are a good sign that the heat is just right. They will become a deep golden caramel color in about 30 minutes. Stir frequently, and watch them as they cook.
- Add the chicken stock, cheese rind, chopped herbs and the garlic bread cubes. Simmer another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Taste for seasoning. It may need a bit more salt. If it does add a pinch and let it cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove what is left of the cheese rind and discard it.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender. Adjusting consistency with more stock if necessary.
- You may make the soup a day ahead as it is often better on the second day. Serve this with steamed clams (optional) on the side and a hefty sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a drizzle of good olive oil and some chopped thyme leaves.