Sunday, September 24, 2023

Susan Spicer’s Garlic Soup

I had the most delicious garlic soup in Austria. From Garden and Gun:

Anyone who’s ever tasted a smooth, creamy bowl of this aromatic creation immediately understands its staying power. It’s not a soup you expect or soon forget, and it’s one worth traveling all the way to New Orleans for, especially given the labor of love that goes into each bowl. “In the early days we had to peel all the garlic by hand,” Spicer says. “We’d peel ten pounds of garlic.”

And not just any garlic. “It might be a mental thing, but it has to be California garlic. It’s the best,”  she says. Beyond the sourcing, the magic is in the preparation. “I caramelize the garlic and onions in butter and garlic—low and slow so it doesn’t burn,” she says. A bouquet of herbs enhances the flavor without distracting from the star of the show. 

At Bayona, Spicer and her team make two big batches twice a week, letting the flavors come together as the soup sits. Just before serving, it’s finished with a bit of cream, but not too much since the soup’s thickness comes primarily from the bread. “The cream tones down the intensity a bit,” she says.

Add a glass of a light red wine, Spicer’s own recommendation for a pairing, and know that the first spoonful is all it takes to understand how garlic, broth, and some stale bread come together in the perfect marriage of simplicity and indulgence. (Read more.)


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