Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Stinking Rose

Last night I had a work dinner at Ruth’s Chris – three hours, which I consider to be Slow Food. Because we eat early here in the midwest, we started at 6:00, and I was home just after 9:00. And feeling like cooking.

Phil’s in a band and practices a couple nights a week. On those nights we both get the boys fed and bathed and get our littlest to bed, Phil leaves for practice, I get the four-year-old to bed, and then I have dinner. So, inspired by a small bowl of local garlic Carla had left over the weekend, I made a batch of Julia Child’s Garlic Soup to eat this week. Here’s all you do:

Boil together 2 quarts of water; at least 2 heads of garlic, peeled and smashed (I used four of the little local variety); 2 Tbsp. olive oil; 1 tsp. sea salt; some black pepper; 2 whole cloves; some parsley, sage, and thyme .

After this starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Strain it all, squeezing the garlic that’s left so that you get all the good garlic flavor in the soup.

The long simmering mellows the garlic and the soup just tastes mild and flavorful and a little bit nutty. It’s something.

Julia adds oil and whisked eggs to hers when she’s ready to serve it – sort of like egg-drop soup. I use her alternate method of heating up a single serving of the soup (about two soup ladles' worth) to about boiling, and then poaching an egg in it. If you’re calorie-conscious, you’ll love the soup: It’s about 120 calories or 3 Weight Watchers points.

A note about the garlic: The local kind that Carla brought looks puny if you're used to the elephant variety at the supermarket. I don’t think, though, that the mondo elephant type has as much flavor as the littler fellows. And I love that there’s a definite stalk/pole that sticks out the of little kind; it's a neat, clean, Mother Nature feature. Maybe next summer I’ll try growing my own.


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