Monday, March 08, 2010

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Aïgo Bouïdo (Garlic Soup)



I wasn't sure what to think when I saw this soup in the book. I like garlic, but I didn't think a soup made strictly for that particular flavor would be particularly appetizing. I put my faith in Julia, though, and cooked it up.  The garlic in the soup actually mellows out really nicely, leaving behind this sort of sweet roasted flavor. I absolutely loved the little toasts on the top, and I highly recommend using the Swiss cheese. It really goes with the flavor of the soup.

Aïgo Bouïdo (Garlic Soup)
From Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

1 separated head or about 16 cloves whole, unpeeled garlic
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of pepper
2 cloves
¼ teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon thyme
½ bay leaf
4 parsley sprigs
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 egg yolks
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Rounds of hard-toasted French bread
1 cup grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese

Drop the garlic cloves in boiling water and boil 30 seconds. Drain, run cold water over them, and peel.

Place the garlic and the rest of the ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan and boil slowly for 30 minutes. Correct seasoning.

Beat the egg yolks in a soup tureen for a minute until they are thick and sticky.  Drop by drop, beat in 3 tablespoons olive oil as for making a mayonnaise.

Just before serving, beat a ladleful of hot soup into the egg mixture by droplets.  Gradually strain in the rest, beating, and pressing the juice out of the garlic.  Serve immediately, accompanied by the bread and cheese.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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