This is the sort of thing that could be meatless or not, it all depends on the broth you use. In most Italian soup, you actually use water, because the flavor comes from all the things you put into the pot.
This isn’t a strictly Italian soup, but comes from the cookbook Food To Die For which is more or less a companion cookbook for the Kay Scarpetta mystery series by Patrica Cornwell and Kay Scarpetta cooks Italian.
Now, there’s nothing I like better then a good mystery, especially for a Friday night. Give me a problem, some fast paced sleuthing and then: TA DA DAA: Problem Solved. A nice break from work, a little vacation to someone else’ s world and then back to reality, all the loose ends neatly tied up. The best mysteries involve some personality, and Kay Scarpetta turns to the kitchen when things get rough, which makes her my kind of person.
This is a cookbook that my son gave me more then 10 years ago, and I actually cook from it quite a bit.
Cornwell has a really nice pizza – and one should have a repertoire of pizza recipes, because one is never enough, and there’s even a grilled pizza recipe that I haven’t tried yet…maybe this summer is the grilled pizza summer… There is also a chili that was one of the go-tos for Wednesday Chili Nights. Wait till Wednesday.
I purchased a bag of heirloom garlics from the Landreth Seed Company booth .
After the woman behind the booth told me it was culinary garlic, maybe 3 0r 4 times….I assured her I had every intention of eating it and not planting, but it wasn’t until I said,”Who plants garlic in the Spring?” she knew my intentions and rang up my purchase. Then I realized if you don’t grow garlic round here, maybe you would try to plant it in the spring. I just need to eat it.
Fresh Garlic Soup
10 or so cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
Carrots – one or 2 depending on their size – grated
2 cups stock*(potato peel broth, chicken stock, beef stock – or even water – whatever is in your pantry)
Chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 egg (she uses 3 egg yolks and makes twice as much as this)
Splash of wine/sherry/beer/vinegar +sugar +water
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigianino- Reggiano cheese
Chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 slices good bread (by good bread I mean something not so WONDERful that has nothing to add to the bowl)
- Two circles of olive oil around your pan, over medium heat add carrots and garlic. Stand there stirring for the 3-4 minutes for it to be tender but not brown.
- Add stock, thyme and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower heat to a simmer.
- Simmer COVERED for about half an hour.
- Turn off the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Moosh things around. (She tosses it into a food processor…you know where I stand on that. If I need garlic soup, I’m in no good place to face a sink full of dishes.)
- If you’ve got an alcoholic flavor component, splash it in now
- In a small bowl which together 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the egg. Add the grated cheese and mix together a little more.
- Gradually add ¼ cup of the hot soup to the egg/cheese/oil mixture and then add it back to the pot.
- Heat soup medium high, again stirring, stirring, stirring until it thickens, 8 – 10 minutes (I think). Don’t let it boil or it will curdle.
- Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Toast the bread and put a slice in each bowl. Pour the soup over. (If it curdles, you can still eat the soup. Toast and butter the bread and put it on top of the soup….let it sop up for a minute or two while inhaling and saying grace and you’ve got a peasant dish fit for royalty.)
Adapted from Patricia Cornwall and Marlene Brown. Food To Die For. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 2001. pp.78-9.