The famous French chef Louis Diat said that about the magical bulb, garlic.
Quickly conjure mental and olfactory images of pesto, bruschetta, aioli, tzatziki, hummus, gremolata, and scampi.
Now imagine them without garlic.
Life, suddenly, is a lot more bland. And if there’s one thing you don’t want more of in your life, it’s bland.
Think of the delicious that comes by adding “garlic” in front of or behind these words: knots, roasted, bread, mashed potatoes, butter, croutons, and clams.
Garlic is part of cuisine on every continent, from China to Russia to Greece, Argentina, and Canada. It adds zip to ordinary dishes, it perfumes our tomato sauces, it tests our tolerance for other people’s breath.
Admittedly, garlic does have one drawback: it can be a real pain to peel and chop it, and cleaning your hands, knives, or other equipment post-garlic can be a sticky, stinky affair. Naturally, any self-respecting culinary genius -- or aspiring culinary genius -- knows that buying jarred minced garlic is one shortcut that you just cannot take. So..what to do?
Well, of all the gadgets that kitchen innovators have given us, tools for garlic outnumber all comers. Presses, mincers, peelers, roasters...the family of garlic gadgets is always expanding. And you know what? A lot of them work, and work well! The silicone sleeve takes off the peel in seconds with basically no mess. The twist gets you minced garlic quickly and efficiently. So, before your next garlic night, stop in, share your tips, and find the right toy that will help you and garlic become even better friends.
3 heads -- not cloves, heads -- of garlic
A couple of medium sized white potatoes
Crème fraîche, sour cream, or butter
Peel the garlic.
Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them all into 1 inch pieces.
In a soup pot, heat a generous dose of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for a few minutes until they are lightly browned and ever-so-softened.
Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add more oil if you wish.
Cover in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until everything is soft.
In batches, blend the soup until smooth.
Pour through a fine mesh sieve back into the pot and stir in crème fraîche.
Serve with grated gruyère or some toasted baguette or garlic croutons or a few twists of pepper or a splash of olive oil or a pinch of paprika or some chopped chives or, well, whatever else you think would work.