For some of us, there is an actual Soup Season- one of my best friends wonders why I bother to post soup recipes in the summer, “out of season”. I know I’m not alone in being someone who loves soup all year-long, but the soup I love has to have variety, unique flavors and ease of prep in the kitchen. Roasted Garlic Soup has all of those requirements, and for you traditionalists I’m sharing a fantastic soup recipe at the beginning of fall- Soup Season.
Roasted Garlic Soup is something I’ve wanted to accomplish for a long time and I’m glad I finally took the plunge. This recipe starts with a creamy garlic soup base, and builds into whatever your particular taste might be by adding options like russet potato chunks, Parmesan Crips, or toasted crostini croutons… take my advice and add ALL of these options!
Over 40 cloves of garlic are used in this recipe, however Roasted Garlic Soup is not overpowering, but really smooth and earthy, almost like a nice cream of mushroom soup. For those of you who REALLY want your garlic fix, I suggest topping everything with additional quick-sauteed minced garlic for that sharp bite you get with raw garlic. It’s sure to give you ‘garlic breath’ for the rest of the day.
In starting this recipe, only some of the garlic gets roasted in the oven ahead of time and this is something that could be done the day before. Having the garlic already roasted the day of serving makes this soup a true 30-minute meal.
As mentioned before, there are so many variations for garnish and added ingredients for this soup and I recommend them all. If you’re looking for a chunky soup, the potatoes are delicious and hearty. The rustic croutons soak up the yumminess plus they add a nice crunch…
…and the Parmesan Crisps add a look of impressive adornment, and they couldn’t be easier to make!
So, whether you make the creamy, light soup option or load it up with lots of texture and additional flavor, it’s sure to please… In or out of ‘Soup Season’.
- 26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 2 medium onions, sliced (about 2 generous cups)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 18 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 4 cups chicken broth (low-sodium) or vegetable broth
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 lemon wedges (do not skip the lemon!)
- Optional variations and other garnishes (See instructions for how to incorporate)
- 1 large russet potato, not peeled, cut into large chunks
- Toasted croutons, drizzled in oil, salt and pepper then baked at 350F degrees until golden
- 8 cloves fresh garlic, minced and sauteed just until fragrant in olive oil, dashed with pepper
- Parmesan Crisps (recipe below)
- For the roasted garlic, this can be done a day ahead:
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Leaving garlic in their peel, cut the bottom portion off where the garlic attaches to the base. Place garlic in small glass baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and add a dash each of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with a lid or foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between your fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl. (If making the day before, place cooled garlic in a plastic bag or covered dish and refrigerate until needed.)
- To prepare the soup:
- Melt butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook a couple of minutes to release some of the raw garlic oils.
- Add chicken or vegetable broth; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth.
- Return soup to saucepan, add cream and bring to a low simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
- Divide the grated ½ cup Parmesan cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over.
- Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve. Cook's note: Do not skip the lemon! You won't believe how the lemon juice really brings out all the other flavors of this soup and without it, your Roasted Garlic Soup is a bit bland, believe it or not.
- If adding the optional russet potato for a chunky garlic soup, add the chunks of potato at the same time you add the chicken broth. Then cook until the potato is fork-tender. Continue with the recipe as written after this point.
- Serve in individual bowls garnished with more grated Parmesan, Parmesan Crips or toasted croutons, or the additional minced sauteed garlic. I highly recommend adding ALL garnishments.
- For Parmesan Crisp garnish: Heat your oven to 400F degrees, Pour a heaping tablespoon of grated Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and pat down just a bit. For color or extra flavor, you could sprinkle the cheese mound with herbs, black pepper or red pepper flakes. Repeat with as much Parmesan crisps as desired, spacing the spoonfuls about a ½ inch apart. Bake until golden and crisp. Since ovens vary, this time can be anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes (mine finished closer to the 10 minute mark). The cheese will bubble quite a bit, but just keep cooking until the crisps darken. Cool, then using a spatula, carefully scrape the crips off the baking sheet and serve with the soup.
- If you prepare the roasted garlic ahead of time, this soup is ready in around 30 minutes. Otherwise, plan for just under 1½ hours total time. The Parmesan Crisps can be prepared while the soup is simmering, if you're including them.