Garlic soup, I’ve written of it several times, but I realized I haven’t written about it. My original recipe came from a cookbook, which I cannot remember the name. It was over fifty years ago. It was called “Peasant’s soup”. I have changed that recipe several times, I now consider it my own. I am presenting it to you to use as you please. Changing it to fit your tastes.
This is a soup you can drink from a mug or serve as an elegant first course at a dinner party. It is a wonderful accompaniment to a grilled cheese or a hot roast beef sandwich. When you are under the weather it is a soothing meal.
Don’t let the large amount of garlic frighten you. The garlic is tamed in its transition to a soup. This is garlic for people who say they don’t like garlic.
2 TBS butter or oil (any variety but I don’t recommend olive oil because of the heavy taste.)
1 cup of peeled and smashed garlic (this will be 3-4 HEADS of garlic)
2 lb. potatoes (any variety but recommend the cheap brown russets. Red ones seem to make a gluey result) peel and cut in large chunks.
4 large carrots or 3 sweet potatoes (peel the sweet potatoes)
2 quarts liquid: water, or chicken broth, or beef broth (I don’t recommend vegetable broth because it has flavors which do not complement the other ingredients.) The liquid changes the flavor of your soup. Every one adds its own excitement to the finished product.
5-6 qt stock pot with lid (I use my 8-quart soup pot with a tri-ply bottom.)
Pounder for peeling and smashing the garlic (do not mince or chop the garlic, you want to be able to sauté it)
Immersion blender, blender, foley mill (anything which will emulsify the ingredients after they are cooked.)
I’ve prepared this on a gas, electric, wood stove and log fire, never a failure.
Step 1: Peel and smash garlic, melt butter/oil, sauté the garlic till golden (Do not burn it, it will taste awful in your soup).
Step 2: pour in you chosen liquid, bring to a heavy simmer.
Step 3: Peel potatoes chunk and add to the simmering garlic liquid.
Step 4: carrots do not need to be peeled but thoroughly wash. The cut into 5 pieces and add to the pot.
Step 5: Simmer slowly all ingredients for 1 hour.
Step 6: When done, use your method of emulsifying the ingredients. Taste, then if you want add salt (I bet ground black pepper would be good too. My family doesn’t do pepper). The original recipe called for cream added when served. (We didn’t even try the cream because the soup is so very creamy on its own.)
This soup can be frozen in individual jars, or a family size jar. Two months later it is still quality. Remember to leave an inch of headspace in the jar when freezing. Also chill it for 3 hours before you put it in the freezer.
Nothing goes better with soup than a homemade bread. This recipe occurs in the blog, but I thought it was the perfect place to include it again.
This recipe comes from a cookbook published in 1974 by the
Culinary Arts Institute (Chicago). It is "The American Family
This is a yeast bread, that adds to its appeal by being super easy to make.
"Old Fashioned Herb Bread"
1 pkg dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
3 Teaspoons fresh sage (Dry ground sage use 1 ½ teaspoons
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon of oil (for oiling the rising bowl)
caraway seeds (for sprinkling on top)
One pkg dry yeast (I have the bulk bakers’ dry instant yeast and I use 1 1/2 Tablespoons) If you bake a lot or a little the yeast comes in 1 lb. vacuumed packed package from Sam's Club (Costco and other places probably have it too.) When you open the vacuum package pour it into a Quart canning jar and screw a lid on it and place in the door of the refrigerator. I have had a package last more than a year. It is a big savings over the individual packets. The Quart Jar is large enough to accommodate a Tablespoon measuring spoon, too. No need to wash the spoon each time you use it.
1/4 cup warm water + 1 teaspoon sugar added (the original recipe doesn't add the sugar, but I have found the yeast is more responsive when you do) use a 2-cup glass measuring cup for this as it needs room to grow (or a similar sized jar).
1. Sprinkle the yeast on the 1/4 cup warm water/sugar and stir in using a fork. Set aside to proof. For those who are new to yeast baking, proofing gives the yeast a chance to grow and bubble up before you add it to your recipe. BTW, if it doesn't bubble up, you have yeast that is no longer alive. Pour out the mix and start over with a new packet. (It takes about 10 minutes for the yeast to grow and double if it is set in a warm location.)
While the yeast is proofing do the following:
1. 3/4 cup whole milk heated very hot in the microwave. (The recipe says scald, but in this day and age of pasteurized milk it is unnecessary)
2. Place 3 tablespoons butter in the mixing bowl, with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (if you use salted butter only add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt). For new bakers, do not leave out the salt. Salt is necessary to control the growth of the yeast and for flavor.
Pour the very hot milk over the above and mix until everything is dissolved and incorporated.
3. You will be using a total of 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour. All-purpose flour works but bread flour works even better. (Since I started using bread flour, I have had a more consistent finished product.)
Stir 1 cup of flour into the milk mixture. Mix well.
4. Beat 1 large egg in a cup. (The egg should be room temperature.) Chop fresh sage very fine, use 3 Tablespoons. (Dry sage from the store works well too, use 1 1/2 teaspoons). You need 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Stir these ingredients into your beaten egg.
5. If your milk mixture has cooled to about 115 degrees or very warm to the hands (Not hot, you'll cook the egg), beat in the egg mixture into your milk mixture.
6. When well incorporated add your bubbling yeast. Mix well and start adding the last 2 cups of flour. You will have a very sticky dough (unless you live in a real arid part of the country where your flour is naturally drier right out of the bag.
7. Sprinkle the last 1/2 cup flour on your table or board. Brush the major amount over to the side leaving a heavy film on the table. Scrape your dough out of the bowl onto the flour. Start kneading the dough in the flour, add a coating on the ball if it is too sticky to work with. This is a very soft dough and you do not want to work it till it is a firm dough. If you add too much flour you will have a very dense loaf.
8. Place a tablespoon of oil in the bottom of a large bowl. Roll it around till the sides are coated. Put your dough ball in the bowl and then turn it over, you will have greased the ball to keep it from drying out. I cover my bowl with plastic wrap and set aside till double in bulk. (It seems to take longer to double than most yeast doughs.)
9. While your dough is rising you can do clean up duty and grease the pan you will bake it in.
I have used a large ceramic baker (looks like a soufflé dish) I grease it with Crisco and then sprinkle corn meal on the bottom. Yes, I know what they say about saturated and trans fats. But I have tried Pam, olive oil and other forms of fats and have had very unsatisfactory results with the bread sticking.
I have used the 9-inch pie pan the recipe suggests. It makes a low round loaf. I prefer the higher loaf of the ceramic baker. It looks like a chef’s hat when finished.
I have also used loaf pans. Makes a great sandwich loaf but doesn't have the flair of the pie pan or the ceramic baker when served.
This last time I made the bread I used some glazed flowerpots I have that were made for cooking. (Only use flower pots you know do not have clay or glaze that contains lead.) I don't know if you could foil line some pots and make them safe to bake in or not. Anyway, the results were fantastic. It made 4 (4 inch) pots. Each resulting "roll" that easily serves two or you can if you are really hungry eat one by yourself.
10. When the dough has doubled, punch it down and let it rest in the bowl 10 minutes. Then take it out and give it a quick knead and shape into a round ball. Place in the middle of the container you will be baking it in and let it rise till double in bulk. When you see it is near completion of rising, preheat your oven to 400 F degrees.
At this time, you can take a beaten egg white and brush the surface of the dough and sprinkle it with caraway seeds. (This is totally unnecessary but if you are serving to company is a nice touch.) If you are not using the seeds, then it is unnecessary to brush the dough with egg white (the crust is darker if you brush it with egg white).
11. Place in the 400F oven for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to 350. (The recipe book says 375 but I have found this is too hot in my oven.) bake 25 minutes more. This loaf is very dark on the crust. (I have found the loaf Pan does not need this time and fiddling with the temp. If I bake the loaf pans a 375 for 25 minutes. Just like I would bake a similar white bread loaf)
Note: the book says you can add 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds to the dough when you add the sage. I never have tried this. I imagine you could use other herbs instead of the sage but why, this is so fantastic.
This bread served with homemade tomato soup WOW...BTW...tomato soup homemade is just about as easy as opening a can of the canned kind...and so much more satisfying. This is my version of a quickie tomato soup:
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