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Garlic Soup


20 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled

1 medium-sized onion, halved

2 quarts water

1 teaspoon salt

2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

6 croutes (see recipe on Bread page)

1/4 pound Cantal cheese, grated (or cheese of your choice)

1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks, at room temperature

1 to 2 cups fruity white wine, at room temperature


Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a mortar and crush them with a pestle, or put them in a small plastic bag and pound them with a rolling pin.

Put the garlic, skins and all, in a heavy 4-quart soup pot and add the onion, water, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer slowly for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

While the garlic simmers, place the croutes on baking sheet and sprinkle with the grated Cantal cheese then set aside.

Place 6 soup plates in the oven to heat.

Put the butter in a bowl and mash with a wooden spoon until it is a soft paste.

Add the flour and egg yolks and combine thoroughly.

At the end of the garlic cooking time, strain the garlic broth through a fine-mesh sieve and return it to the pot.

Slowly, a few tablespoons at a time, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the hot broth to the butter-egg mixture, whisking to combine thoroughly.

Off the heat, put the egg-broth mixture into the pot, stirring until the soup is creamy and thoroughly blended.

Remove the soup plates from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

When the oven is fully preheated, place the baking sheet with the cheese-covered croutes, in the oven for a few moments to melt the cheese.

Add the white wine to taste to the soup and place over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Do not allow the soup to boil.

Taste and add more salt if needed.

When thoroughly heated, remove the soup from the heat.

Place the cheese-glazed croutes in the bottom of the heated soup plates and top with the hot soup.

Serve immediately.