This recipe–with its 80 cloves of garlic, blanched and then minced–maybe 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 even flinch. 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, nearly.
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 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.
This time, my family surprised me.
They absolutely loved this soup. They still love this soup, after my preparing it for them countless times. Though 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, you can make it any time, even when you are 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 a surprisingly delicious soup, and with all those nutritious vegetables, you just know that you’re building better health by the spoonful.
When there is somebody sick in our house, we always make this soup. The smell of all that garlic and the onions, too, simmering in a rich broth is enough to make the sickest person perk up a little. That smell says “Somebody loves me,” and that’s the first step in getting better, don’t you agree?
Have I convinced you to try it yet? Here’s the recipe, just in case I have:
- 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!
I’d love to hear about it if you try out this recipe, and if you’d like to share it with your friends (because they probably need to have more reasons to eat garlic, too!) that would be awesome, too. (And thank you!)
- Check out “Aprons,” stories from the trenches of the food and drink industry
- Pearls from little Mack