Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
I've been in the mood for garlic soup for some time now and regrettably it was not a recipe I thought to swipe from I's many years ago. Deb, however, recently posted a recipe for it and it was just the thing to serve as a starter for the dinner we hosted Friday night. Mine turned out a darker, more caramel-ly color because I let the onions get a little darker but I think it tasted all the better. Also, this is the vegetarian and low-fat version. Feel free to use chicken broth and cream as called for the in the original recipe although my version still tastes every bit as rich, I think.
26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 1/4 cups sliced onions
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (more like 4 C since I just poured in the whole container)
1/2 cup non-fat evaporated milk
1 slice bread (use bread plain bread here--you don't want seeds in this)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small baking dish. Add olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. It may take less time depending on the size of your cloves. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Tear the slice of bread into small chunks and stir into soup. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend soup until it is uniformly smooth--be careful tho, soup is hot! Add milk and bring to a bare simmer. Non-fat milk should not be boiled without a stabilizing ingredient such as flour so watch carefully or the soup will break and become grainy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This soup can be made a day ahead. Allow to cool and then place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the soup to prevent a skin from forming. When ready to reheat, remove plastic wrap and heat gently to desired temperature. Serves 6 as a starter and 2-3 as a main dish. Deb calls for parmesan croutons but I served with homemade parmesan wheat rolls so I omitted the croutons.