Provençal Garlic Cure-All Soup

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.

p.s. If you’re REALLY feeling under the weather, I’ve found nothing beats the combination of this garlic and honey immune booster paired with ginger and lemongrass tea.


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.

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12 Responses to “Provençal Garlic Cure-All Soup”

  1. #
    Eileen — December 3, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Garlic! Oh yes. This soup sounds so good–especially perfect to drink from a mug while it’s snowing outside. :)


    • Cate — December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

      I kinda wish it was snowing here… it’s been unseasonably hot and humid all week long! I think I’m overdue for a trip to the mainland… snow actually sounds really nice right about now :)


  2. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — December 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    The photos are absolutely stunning. This just shot right to the top of my cooking to do list!


    • Cate — December 10th, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

      Thanks Jen! Hope you like it :)


  3. #
    Tina — December 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    My dad use to make us eat whole garlic cloves when we had a cold coming on. This soup sounds way more appetizing and definitely worth a try.


  4. #
    erica — February 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Just made this soup! I must of done something wrong with the yolk and parmesan because my soup didn’t taste good at all! Had to pour it down the sink :( I would maybe suggest a smaller amount of parmesan? My apt sure does smell good though!


    • Cate — February 1st, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

      Bummer Erica :(. I wonder whether one of your ingredients had gone bad? Because I can’t see how garlic broth thickened with eggs with cheese mixed in could possibly taste bad! Although different strokes for different folks, right? At least you found a silver lining in the situation :)


  5. #
    Rebekah — August 29, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Just made this! Omitted the thyme because I’m not a fan, but overall this was really good! The whole downstairs of my house smells wonderful now. Thanks for the recipe!


    • Cate — October 4th, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

      Thanks for the comment Rebekah- and so glad you liked it :)


  6. #
    Ms Q — February 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I was severely disappointed with the finished product. And what hurt the most was I used a precious batch of homemade bone broth for the base of the soup. I do believe the amount of cheese was too much. It hurt my feelings to pour the conconcotion down the kitchen sink :(


  7. #
    Andrea — March 22, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I just made this soup, and it was FANTASTIC! It’s so simple to make, and surprisingly filling for a recipe with so few ingredients.

    I substituted two sprigs of fresh rosemary for the sage leaves, and the result was very tasty. Thanks so much for this recipe — it’s a keeper!


  8. #
    Nathalie — September 15, 2017 at 7:58 am

    This sounds delicious! Does the parmesan cheese melt in the soup? I’m not quite sure how to make this, without there being bits of cheese at the bottom.


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