Sunday, April 2, 2017

Restorative Garlic Soup and Five Other Favorite Heidi Swanson Recipes for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

I love garlic, I love garlic soup and I've been wanting to make Heidi Swanson's version of one of her favorite garlic soups as my last weekly Heidi Swanson recipe with I Heart Cooking Clubs. Starting tomorrow, we start cooking with British chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for the next six months. I will not stop cooking with Heidi's recipes of course, as they and her cookbooks are fabulous (I am sharing my favorites below) but this is a great recipe to end six great months on. It's simple and restorative--perfect when you just need something to make you feel better after a long and crazy week. 

Heidi say this soup "is from Richard Olney's classic, The French Menu Cookbook. Creamy and full-bodied without the use of cream, it is made by simmering a dozen or so cloves of garlic in water with a few herbs, then thickening it with a mixture of egg and shredded cheese" and mentions ladling it over day-old bread. It sounded perfect to me.     

I recently received a box of garlic from Melissa's Produce for an upcoming garlic food blogging event and it was full of black garlic, elephant garlic, jars of chopped garlic and regular bulbs. Since there is plenty for the recipe I am developing, I used one of the heads of regular garlic in this soup. Thanks Melissa's Produce! ;-) I used Heidi's recipe, with just a couple small changes, noted in red below.  

Heidi says, "The following recipe reflects how I make this soup, with my notes/words. The original recipe often calls for a range of a particular ingredient, for example, 10 - 15 cloves of garlic, or healthy pinch of thyme....I decided to included the amounts I use when I make it."

Richard Olney's Garlic Soup, Heidi Swanson's Variation
Adapted Slightly from Heidi Swansons via 101 Cookbooks
(Serves 2--About 4 cups of Soup)

4 cups water 
1 bay leaf 
2-3 sage leaves 
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme (I used 3 fresh thyme sprigs)
about a dozen medium cloves of garlic, smashed peeled, and chopped (I used one head)
1 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste  

Egg-Cheese Mixture:
1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks
1 1/2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

To Serve:
day-old crusty bread-torn into chunks & more olive oil to drizzle
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to boil with the bay leaf, sage thyme, garlic, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 4o minutes. Strain broth into a bowl, removing the sage and bay leaves from the strainer. Return the broth and garlic back to the saucepan, leaving it off the heat. Tasting, adding more salt if needed. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, cheese and black pepper until creamy and slowly drizzle the olive oil in while still whisking. Very slowly, whisk a large ladle of the broth into the mixture. Stir the contents of the bowl into the remaining garlic broth and whisk it continuously over medium-low soup until it thickens slightly. (Heidi lets it get to "the consistency of half-and-half or cream.")

To serve,  Place a handful of torn bread chunks into the bottom of each bowl. Pour the hot soup over the bread and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and more pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes/Results: OK, this soup broth smells incredible while it's bubbling away with the garlic, sage and thyme and the resulting liquid is flavorful enough on its own if you don't like eggs and bread. With or without the egg and cheese mixture, you could leave out the bread and replace it with rice or noodles and maybe a couple of carrots or other veggies and you'd have a great garlic-vegetable soup. But... made as the recipe is written, it is a lovely bowl of creamy, garlic heaven--with all of the flavor and sweetness but none of the sharpness. Delicious. I will happily make it again. 

It's never easy to choose my favorite recipes and most all of the soups I made could have ended up on this list, but I restrained myself and picked just my top five favorites. These are the recipes that I think about the most and/or have made again since trying them.

The first Heidi recipe I made for IHCC was her Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter and it remains one of my favorites. Heidi's recipes are often about the flavor combinations and the toppings or garnishes and the curried brown butter is the perfect thing to amp up the lentils and coconut milk.

Another favorite Heidi soup was her Ultimate Chickpea Soup. This is one that I keep thinking about--the perfect comfort food with both the slurpy noodles and the crunchy fried pasta on top. I loved the unique deliciousness of this one!


Heidi loves her eggs and I made several great egg recipes like these Hard-Boiled Eggs with Homemade Dukkah. The mix of spices and seeds was the perfect thing to sprinkle on eggs for a snack (and worked really well on avocado toast too.) ;-)

Another egg recipe was the so simple 5 Minute Egg Breakfast Tacos. Such a brilliant idea that is delicious and takes just minutes to make if you have hard-boiled eggs and salsa in your fridge. I have repeated this recipe several times already for brekfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Heidi won me over with two words... fried capers! Her Brown Rice Bowl with Egg and Fried Capers was so good and combined several of my favorite ingredients. It's an easily adaptable dish--you could sub in whatever grain, green and toppings you like but do yourself a favor and make extra fried capers. 

Honorable Mentions go to Heidi's Lemon Miso Compound Butter & Nori Compound Butter, her Slurp-tastic Curry Herb Noodles, and  her Edamame Mint Spread with Smoked Almonds.

You can see what Heidi Swanson recipes everyone else cooked to say Bon Voyage Heidi! by checking out the picture links on the post. Consider joining us at IHCC and spending the next six months cooking the recipes of British chef-icon Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It's fun, easy and you can drop in and out as the spirit moves you.  

We have two good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some delicious dishes last week--let's have a look!

Melynda of Our Sunday Cafe made Kale, Apple and Carrot Slaw and said, "This can be made in the morning for lunch or dinner later that day. This slaw stays crispy, with a nice crunch, and does not end up swimming in too much dressing. ... PS. Leftovers are easily turned into a main dish salad with a bit of diced ham or roasted chicken."


Kim of Stirring the Pot shared a Spring Pea Salad from Ellie Krieger and said, "This salad is a delightful mix of snow peas, sugar snap peas, and regular peas tossed in a lemony shallot and mint vinaigrette with some thinly sliced red radishes for both color and crunch. It is crunchy and sweet while being both light and refreshing and I absolutely love it!"


Mahalo to Melynda and Kim for joining in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Soup is probably my favourite way of eating! The garlic soup looks so good, especially with the bread!

  2. What a nice round up of Heidi's soups and sammies!

  3. I love garlic but have not tried garlic soup! Sounds very garlicky delicious and fragrant!

  4. Garlic harvest will be sooner this year I think.....can't wait!

  5. Wow,Deb. There is so much deliciousness in this post! First of all, receiving a package of garlic in the mail has to go down as one of the best packages ever:) On a serious note, the garlic soup looks downright incredible! I can't believe how creamy it is and just so full of favorite ingredients. Total comfort food! Every single one of your Heidi faves looks delicious to me. I need to pin them so I can go back and make them. Thanks for including me in the roundup. Guess I forgot to link to that too, good grief! I was truly scatterbrained last week!


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