Roasted Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese

Garlic scapes are an early season vegetable at La Vista CSA.
Garlic scapes are an early season vegetable at La Vista CSA. | Source

I love garlic. Garlic bread. Garlic soup. Roasted garlic. Garlic in my pasta sauce. Maybe it’s the Italian in me.

We all know what garlic is best for – safeguarding us against those pesky vampires.

(Well, garlic lovers, you've never been bothered by one, have you?)

It isn't clear why garlic is called the stinking rose. It isn't a member of the rose family but of the lily family along with onions and leeks. Its scientific name is allium sativum liliacae. That's the rose part. The stinking part? Well, that comes from the sulfur compounds that contribute to the taste and smell of garlic.

While most people eat just the bulb, other parts of the plant are edible, such as the leaves and flowers on the garlic head, which are milder. The immature flower stalks of the elephant type of garlic – called the scape – are also edible. Scapes are a popular early season vegetable at La Vista, the community supported garden I belong to.

Heads of garlic drying in the barn at La Vista CSA Farm
Heads of garlic drying in the barn at La Vista CSA Farm | Source

The bulbs – or heads – are divided into numerous sections called cloves and are covered with a papery skin. Raw garlic is pungent and not everyone can handle eating it but cook it up and garlic’s strong flavor mellows.

When buying garlic, look for firm heads. It doesn’t matter if they are large or small (a head has about 10-15 cloves), just be sure there isn’t any black powdery-looking patches under the skin. That is a type of mold so pass it up and be sure to store the rest of your garlic in a dry cool place. As garlic ages, it produces a green sprout; just cut it out before you use the garlic because these can be bitter tasting.

You can buy garlic already chopped that is sold in jars but I prefer fresh. One thing to remember when chopping garlic – the more finely it’s chopped, the more pungent it will be. But again, cooking it will mellow the flavor.

My husband isn’t particularly fond of garlic (must be the Scottish in him!) but he and our sons loved a roasted garlic soup I made for us in March. This is a modified recipe from the February 1999 issue of Bon Appétit that was posted on epicurious.com. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Although not the picture that appeared with the recipe, it is similar to what the soup looks like when completed
Although not the picture that appeared with the recipe, it is similar to what the soup looks like when completed | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of Roasted Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 large heads of garlic,, peeled; set aside 8 cloves
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 2-1/4 cups sliced onions,, divided
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme,, chopped
  • 3-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat half the sliced onions and 28 cloves of garlic with the 2 T of olive oil. Spread them in a thick layer on a foil covered baking sheet, seal with another layer of foil and roast for about 30 minutes. Transfer them to a small bowl.
  3. Melt butter in large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the other half of the uncooked sliced onions and sauté them until they are translucent, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add roasted garlic and roasted onion slices as well as the 8 cloves of uncooked garlic. Cook 3 minutes.
  5. Add chicken stock and thyme. Cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over it. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.
  7. This can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

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Comments 23 comments

Giselle Maine 5 years ago

Wonderful hub and beautifully written. My husband and I have planted garlic this season in the garden... so I thought I'd take the opportunity to find out facts about garlic on your hub. I was thrilled to see your recipe... can't wait to make this using garlic from the garden.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

thanks Giselle for your comments. It really is a delicious soup and I hope you enjoy it. Good luck on your garden!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Yummy!!! I love garlic too so it must be the Italian! I will definately have to try this recipe. Thanks, great job!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Let me know how you liked it (or not....)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Oh, you Italians! LOL Wow, Danette. This is an awesome hub. Voted it up. Great opening lines-really caught my attention and held it. Useful? I had no idea that other parts of the plant were so useful as well. And, love the soup recipe. I bookmarked it. Thanks.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks for your comment, Dee. I didn't know the other parts were useful either until I joined the garden and first saw the funny-looking scapes or garlic whistles as they are sometimes called.


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago

I love garlic too! We generally just mince it up real small and add lots of olive oil to it and then put it on whatever is cooking for dinner or on garlic bread for a more mellow taste :) Great hub!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks emilybee for your comments. Roasting the garlic then spreading it on baked bread it good too!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

Danette, I'm with you--I love garlic--sometimes to the dismay of my family when I do the cooking.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks for reading my hub! I love the smell of cooking garlic, along with sauteing onions.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thank you so much I have been looking for a recipe for garlic soup and will try yours as it sounds really good! great hub!


MarieAlice profile image

MarieAlice 5 years ago from Peru

Love garlic too!!! I enjoyed your hub and learned more about garlic... thanks a lot


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks Susan and MarieAlice.

Susan, I hope you enjoy the soup. It takes a little while to make but the best food isn't made in just a few minutes.

MarieAlice, I also was surprised to find out about the other edible parts of the plant.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

I love garlic soup. It sounds yummy. I have to try this. Bookmark and thanks for sharing.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

Hi Thelma,thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you like the soup.


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 5 years ago from Colorado

I absolutely love garlic. I go through about a head a week, but I also grow a small indoor garden full of garlic for their tasty shoots. Great hub, and you're recipe will be making a debut on my table here shortly.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois Author

I've come to realize that there are two kinds of people - those who love garlic and those who don't. There doesn't seem to be any in between group.

Let me know how you like the soup and thanks for reading.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Thanks for sharing this useful information about garlic but it doesn't always love me. Still use it in cooking but more sparingly than I used to.

The soup recipe looks delicious.

Voted up, useful and interesting.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Gail. I haven't seen you around HP so I hope all is going well for you.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Garlic adds flavor to anything and everything. Great hub on garlic. Soup recipe looks great.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois Author

Thanks Velllur. I agree, a little bit of garlic can really bump up a recipe. Try the soup, it really is good.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

I had no idea you could eat the flowers. I wonder if they are easy on the digestions. We love garlic and once I made a soup using 30 entire heads of garlic but I can't find that recipe. I do like the look of your recipe and will try it out one day, though not now since we have a pregnant daughter in law staying who is off it at the moment. Food tastes so bland round here this week!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois Author

Wow! A soup using 30 heads of garlic? If you ever come across that recipe again, you'll have to write it up and share it. Sounds intriguing. Good luck with the bland food this week.

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