When my husband and I lived in Columbus, I loved a little cafe called Kolache Republic in the German Village neighborhood. They kept a very tight menu - just Kolache (sweet yeast dough with both sweet and savory fillings) and a spectacular creamy garlic soup. Since we have moved, I found myself craving it too much not to concoct my own version. The original version can be served with smoked kielbasa, but since it is the new year, and the recipe already includes a good bit of heavy cream, I opted to top my version with a vegetable medley (which is actually quite spring-like though available year-round if you need a break from the winter blues). Enjoy! —Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
shallots, thinly sliced
big cloves of garlic, chopped (not too fine, or they are more likely to burn)
dry vermouth (I use Dolin)
vegetable stock (you can substitute chicken stock for a nonvegetarian version)
light cream (half and half or whole milk will also work)
Melt the butter in the olive oil in a large (at least 4 quart) saucepan or Dutch oven. Sauté the shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt, stirring frequently, until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the vermouth, stock, and cream. Bring to a soft boil and add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by about one half, about one hour.
Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a standard blender), puree the soup until smooth. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
While your soup is reducing, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Sauté the carrots and thyme with a pinch of salt and white pepper until beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the frozen peas and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to warm through.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with the vegetable medley. Enjoy!