Garlic Soup with Variations

By: Chef Shea – Bahamas Aggressor

3 large bulbs fresh garlic, broken up and skins left on
1 medium white onion, peeled and finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil
285 ml single cream
1 liter organic chicken or vegetable stock
1 large loaf ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar
150 g whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted in the oven
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 oranges, peeled and segmented
1 handful fresh coriander, leaves picked
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked

Roast the garlic cloves in a preheated oven at 350ºF for around half an hour until soft to the touch. Meanwhile, take a large pot and slowly fry the white onion in 4 tablespoons of olive oil for about 10 minutes until really soft and translucent. Add the cream and the stock, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, awaiting your garlic. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow to cool slightly before squeezing out all the sweet, golden paste. Whisk this into the soup. Discard the garlic skins.

Remove the crusts from your ciabatta, rip up the bread into small pieces and throw into the soup. Add the sherry vinegar, then allow the soup to simmer for 5 more minutes. Whiz it until smooth in your food processor with your toasted almonds. Season nicely to taste and serve in big bowls sprinkled with some orange segments, torn up coriander and mint, and drizzled with a good lug of extra virgin olive oil.

Try this: You can eat this cold in the summer – it’s obviously going to be thick, which I think is a nice thing, but you can thin it with a little milk or stock if you want to.

And this: You may want to big up the sherry vinegar to give it that twang you get with a Spanish gazpacho soup.

Or this: There’s a similar recipe from Spain where sliced white grapes are added to the soup – this contrasts really well with the garlic, so give it a go. A handful will do. Nice when eaten both hot and cold.

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