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Susan Spicer’s Cream of Garlic Soup

Susan Spicer, the brilliant chef-owner of Bayona, has been a friend since before she became a chef. She has one of the surest senses of taste I’ve ever encountered. This soup has been on all her menus since her earliest restaurant days, and with good reason: it’s irresistible. It’s not all that complicated to make, however, as you will find out if you try. A great garnish is to fry a few morsels of garlic in butter and float them on the surface of the soup.

Susan Spicer's garlic soup.

Susan Spicer’s garlic soup.

  • 2 lbs. onion, peeled and roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley stems, thyme sprigs and bay leaf)
  • 2 cups stale French Bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Salt
  • White pepper

1. In a one-gallon, heavy-bottomed pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter and oil. Stir frequently over low to medium heat until they turn a deep golden brown–about 30 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Stir in bread cubes and simmer 10 minutes, until bread is soft.

3. Remove bouquet garni and puree soup in blender carefully. Strain back into the saucepan. Heat and whisk in more chicken broth or water if the soup is too thick. Add half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves six to eight.

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