Recipe: Provençal Garlic Soup

Oct 1, 2017

In an episode of "The French Chef" tv series titled,  "Steak Dinner For Four in Half an Hour," Julia Child introduced young Food Guy Greg Patent to a deceptively simple recipe for Aigo bouido, Provençal garlic soup. When Other Food Guy Jon Jackson encountered the same recipe in one of Child's cookbooks, he was taken aback by the first ingredient. "Two HEADS of garlic?!"

Yes, indeed. This sweet and delicious soup features two heads of garlic, fresh herbs, cloves, three egg yolks and olive oil.

Remove the papery layer from two heads of garlic, chop them roughly, and add them with 2 teaspoons of salt to 2 quarts of rapidly boiling water. Throw in some fresh herbs, like sprigs of fresh thyme, a bay leaf and a couple of leaves of fresh sage. Add 2-3 cloves (the spice) and, optionally, a pinch of saffron.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain the liquid, pressing on the vegetables to allow some pulp to come through.

Whisk 3 egg yolks in a soup tureen till they turn sticky. Slowly whisk in a quarter cup or more of olive oil. Very gradually, whisk in the hot broth, a cup at a time - adding it all at once might curdle the eggs, so take it slowly till the mixture is warm enough to match the temperature of the hot broth. Taste for salt & pepper and serve.

Julia Child's advice: "Don't announce what it is to your guests. Let them figure it out."

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 10/1/17. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)