This recipe–with its 80 cloves of garlic, blanched and then minced–should have made me blanche when I first ran across it in my worn copy of Jane Brody’s Good Food Book. But I didn’t blanche. In fact, I did the opposite of blanche: I became intrigued, and instantly I was filled with a desire to make this soup more than anything else on earth. Well, almost.
I love garlic, and I love how good it is for me and my family, so I decided to give it a try, although I held my breath (literally) when I served it to my family. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and an antioxidant, after all, among other things, so of course I’m going to try to get as much of it as possible into those I care for, right? My family, dear and sweet as they all are, are not tremendously courageous when it comes to trying out new recipes, bless them. It must be a trial having me as the head cook, because I constantly want to try out new recipes.
This time, my family surprised me.
They absolutely loved this soup. They still love this soup, after my preparing it for them countless times. Fall is the ideal time to make this soup, when my garden is still full of heirloom tomatoes and bell peppers of every color and the pantry is well stocked with my winter’s supply of fresh onions and garlic from the garden. I also love to make it in the winter, when I’ve run out of garden produce and am reduced to buying canned tomatoes and fresh peppers and all the rest, and when we are struggling with winter’s doses of colds and the flu. It’s delicious, and with all those nutritious vegetables, you just know that you’re building better health by the spoonful.
Have I convinced you to try it, yet? Here’s the recipe:
- 80 garlic cloves, blanched for 30 secs in boiling water, rinsed, peeled, and sliced.
- 8 cups sliced onions
- 4 cups sliced green peppers, or a combination of green and red or yellow
- 6 T oil, preferably olive
- 12 cups peeled, sliced ripe tomatoes (or use canned)
- 8 cups beef broth (I’ve used deer bone broth, or chicken broth, and all are good)
- sliced dark bread, cubed
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- grated Parmesan for garnish (optional, but so good!)
- In a large sauce pan or stock pot, saute the onions and peppers in the oil until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes. Reduce heat, cover the pan, tightly simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pour in the broth, heat the soup just to a boil. When serving, heap bread cubes on top of each bowl, grind fresh pepper, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Soo good!
This soup, with all of its chopping and sauteing, is really a great thing to make with a couple of friends or children in the kitchen with you! Make it tonight and let me know how it turns out!