The holiday season, as you undoubtedly have noticed, is well underway. And with an ever-growing to-do list and seemingly less time to accomplish the tasks on said list, it’s just about the worst time to feel under the weather.
This soup is the just the ticket, whether you’ve indulged in one too many spiked eggnogs at the holiday party the night prior or you’re in the beginning stages of a head cold, courtesy of your cubicle neighbor who REALLY should have just stayed home.
It’s very much peasant food, created from very simple ingredients, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you’re looking for something excessively rich and indulgent, this isn’t the soup for you (but I would encourage you to try this terrific garlic soup, made with butter and heavy cream).
But if you’re anything like me, after all of the peppermint bark, holiday cookies, and fudge, your body might just be craving something simple and nourishing.
The traditional version uses water only, but I added a bit of broth for extra flavor. You’ve also got a couple options as to how to serve the soup: with the garlic slices left untouched (which is more traditional) or pureed. Either way is great, but be forewarned that you might have garlic coming out of your pores for about a day or so afterwards.
Aigo Bouido- Provençal Garlic Cure-All Soup
Yield: 4 servings
* 2 Tablespoons olive oil
* 20 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
* 6 sage leaves
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 sprigs fresh thyme
* 3 cups water
* 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth or stock
* 6 egg yolks
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* salt and pepper to taste
* extra olive oil and sage leaves for garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic begins to turn golden. Tie the sage leaves, bay leaves and thyme together with kitchen twine or enclose in a piece of cheesecloth, tying the packet closed with a piece of kitchen twine. Place the herbs in the saucepan, give everything a quick stir and then add the water and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and partially cover (set the saucepan lid slightly askew). Simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the herbs from the saucepan and discard. In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks and Parmesan cheese together. While whisking, add several small ladles of hot broth. Then slowly add this mixture to the saucepan, whisking constantly. If you'd like a smooth-textured soup, use an immersion blender to process the soup in the saucepan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into individual bowls and top with a small drizzle of olive oil and a sage leaf, if desired.