This is basically what the title says...garlic bread in a soup form! A strange concept, but all that is happening is that bread is being used as a thickening agent, instead of potato or flour. The result is a smooth, creamy, rich and garlicky soup that I accompanied with some crisp sourdough croutons and grated Parmesan.
As we are moving at the end of the month I am doing my best to use up as much food as possible, including non-perishable items, as it is that much less to pack and move. This took care of some stale bread that would have been turned into breadcrumbs and frozen, as well as the chicken stock that was open and in the freezer already.
The bread I had was sourdough, some of which I turned into croutons, and the rest was homemade
Combine to soak:
4 cups cubed stale bread
3 cups milk
1 large clove garlic, minced
Set aside until needed.
Using a bit of olive oil, cook over medium low heat:
1 medium onion, minced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Cook until starting to soften and caramelize.
3 cups chicken stock
pinch of chili flakes
Bring to a boil, then simmer until the onions are soft.
Add the soaked bread, milk and garlic.
Cook over medium heat, until the bread and milk are hot, stirring often.
Use a hand blender to puree the soup until smooth.
Return to the heat, taste and adjust seasoning.
Adjust the consistency by adding more milk or chicken stock if needed.
Serve the soup hot, garnished with a handful of crispy croutons, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and some chopped fresh basil.
- The predominant flavours in this soup are garlic and bread. The creaminess is amazing, and the addition of fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary, will take the flavour in a different direction.
- Feel free to use a bit of white wine or brandy for part of your liquid, or whipping cream...although I feel it is rich enough as it is.
- Any stale bread works, but I would stay away from bread that is strongly flavoured such as rye or pumpernickel. That being said, if you love those flavours then go for it.
- To make the croutons, cut the sourdough into 1/2" cubes, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and then spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350F until golden and crisp.
- Another alternative to croutons is to make a grilled cheese toast, as you would for French onion soup, and float that on top of the soup.
- I did not strain the soup, just pureed it. The amount of texture you choose is up to you...strain it if you want it really smooth, or just roughly blend it to leave more chunks of bread and onions in the soup.
- Add crushed tomatoes as well as, or instead of, milk and the soup will be tomato based. This version is also great with added vegetables such as zucchini, peppers or carrots.
- Parmesan adds sharpness to cut the richness of the soup; try aged cheddar, blue cheese or goat cheese instead.