This recipe is based on a classic Spanish roast garlic soup found in many variations throughout the country – this particular version gives us an Italian feel. A simple and easy soup to make, it truly highlights the deliciousness of sweet caramel-like roast garlic. Not for the fainthearted, it is perfect for a spicy evening snack on a hot summer's night.
- 4 heads of garlic
- olive oil
- 3 medium eschallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 L chicken stock
- 4 eggs
- grated parmesan
- bread to serve
For the dumplings
- 50 g nduja
- 20 g breadcrumbs
- fine zest of ½ an orange
- flour for dusting
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 1 hour
To make the dumplings, combine the nduja, breadcrumbs and zest and mix well. With your hands, roll the mixture into 12 small balls and give them an all-over dust with flour. Leave them to sit in your fridge for about half an hour, but do make sure to pull them out about 15 minutes before you want to serve your soup.
Place the whole heads of garlic in a baking dish, give them a generous splash of oil, cover with foil and roast in a pre-heated oven at 150°C for 20-30 minutes. You want the garlic to become completely soft. Let the garlic cool enough so you can cut off the root at the bottom, allowing you to squeeze out all the soft garlic within. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add a splash of oil and cook off your eschallots with a little seasoning for a good few minutes before adding the thyme, paprika and cooked garlic. Give it a few extra turns before adding your stock and bring it to the boil.
Once your soup comes to the boil, lower heat to a simmer and have a little look and taste. What you should see is a slightly murky-looking broth that should taste a little sweet with an aromatic tang. Season to your liking.
Now, have four bowls warmed and ready to pour your soup into. Place four dumplings in the bottom of each bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs and the parmesan and gently pour it in a steady stream into your simmering soup while giving a gentle stir of the saucepan. What you should see is delicate strands of egg making your soup murkier than it was before.
Quickly ladle this broth into your bowls, give a little drizzle of olive oil and serve with some fresh sourdough bread.
• This soup can also be made vegetarian friendly, simply omit the dumplings and make sure you have a delicious and tasty vegetable stock for your base.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd. Yellow bowl from Mud; orange bowl from Dinosaur Designs; crystals supplied by Collier’s Crystals Blackheath.