Thursday, May 31, 2012

Soupe à L'ail (French Garlic Soup)



I have to confess that my favourite part of any meal is the soup. Though it may sound like a lame excuse, but because it's so easy to make (and eat), it's perfect for a lazy person such as myself hehe

Considering that I just got through making the two-day long Coq au Vin (Chicken with Red Wine Sauce), I can't really call myself lazy. After getting bored of watching the chicken stew on the stove for ages, though, I decided to cook up this simple soup. Of course, seeing as the main course was going to be a French classic, the soup had to be too! At least that's the logic I worked with at the time in order to narrow my choices down a bit. Plus, as this soup only uses pantry essentials as ingredients, it's perfect for a last minute addition.


When you first read the ingredients, the soup sounds a little disgusting: chicken broth, a handful of garlic cloves and beaten egg. These ingredients don't necessarily seem to go together in principal, but they actually do. Even with so much garlic, the soup is light to the taste and complemented the light garlic tones in the Coq au Vin. Unfortunately, maybe because we added too much broth, it wasn't as creamy as it could be, but the bit of stale bread topped with melted cheese (a stolen technique from rural Switzerland, no less!) added just that extra something the it needed. 

Ingredients (Serves 2)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, tarragon, parsley, basil, thyme-savory, rosemary)
1 medium egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked
2 slices stale baguette, toasted
1 tbsp parmesan reggiano, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Bring the broth to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Add in the garlic, bouquet garni, and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Take the bouquet garni out, and add in the egg white. Stir vigorously to break down the whites into small chunks as they begin to set. Remove soup from heat and cool slightly.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the beaten egg yolk with a few spoons of the warm soup. Keep whisking as you add the soup to make sure that the egg does not scramble. Add more soup by the spoon until the egg seems to be heated through. Combine this mixture with the rest of the soup. 
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and reheat if necessary. 
  6. To serve, place a piece of toasted french bread at the bottom of a bowl. Sprinkle a bit of cheese on top and microwave for a few seconds until the cheese melts. Pour on the soup, and garnish with a bit of parsley.