Monday, January 24, 2011
I'm a garlic girl. Roasted, smashed and spread on a slice of bread or gently sautéed in olive oil and tossed with spinach or kale, garlic is a regular addition to my little French diet.
In fact, it was a regular addition to my little California diet as well. My original chili recipe calls for 3 cloves of garlic but my recipe - the one you would get if you happened to dine chez moi - calls for at least 6 (if they're suitably stout, that is. More if they're on the puny side.) That's the garlic standard chez La Fourchette.
In addition to being a good source of vitamin C, raw garlic has been touted more recently as a natural antibiotic, a stimulus to the immune system, and a possible treatment for lowering high blood pressure. So add a little fresh and finely chopped garlic to your evening meals and give hypertension the boot.
If it's an immune system boost you're after, then have I got the soup for you!
The lovely soleil of the south of France has been punctuated by days of soft light and cold temperatures when the sun decides to hide under a soft, grey cloud-blanket. Good soup weather.
If you're looking to ward off winter bugs (and vampires, while you're at it) have a bowlful of this belly-warming soup of garlic topped with a poached egg and drizzled with olive oil - approved by Provençal shepherds as a sure-cure to winter's ills. Even with the crouton in the bottom of the bowl, slices of baguette smeared with tapenade will be a tasty addition to serve alongside.
And take a peek at the color of this egg yolk when it gets cracked into - fresh from the day's marché. Brilliant, non? Everyone deserves to eat eggs like this!
I try to be mindful when I share recipes with others that not everyone appreciates the aroma of garlic swirling in the air upon waking. If it doesn't bug you, then kick this recipe up in the garlic department.
(Adapted from Savoring Provence by Diane Holuigue)
8 cups water
20 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole*
10 fresh sage leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
12 croutons, made from a baguette, brushed with a slosh of olive oil and grilled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 tablespoons olive oil
* Depending on your garlic, if there are substantial sprouts in the clove, slice the clove in half and pull out the sprout to avoid bitterness.
In a soup pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil and add the garlic and sage. Boil until the garlic is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, scoop out the sage and garlic. Discard the sage and mash the garlic with a fork. Return the garlic to the pot of water and season with sea salt and pepper.
Return the water to a boil, then reduce the heat so the liquid gently simmers. One at a time, break the eggs into a small bowl and slip into the simmering liquid. Cook until the whites are opaque and the yolks are soft and still liquid, about 2 minutes.
Place 2 croutons in the bottom of each of 6 wide soup bowls. Using a slotted spoon, quickly and carefully remove 1 egg at a time from the simmering soup and transfer to the bowls, placing 1 egg on the bread in each bowl. Pour 2 ladles-full of the soup over each egg. Top with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately before the eggs cook any further.