Creamy and Comforting Roasted Garlic Soup

or the enhanced healing waters of chicken stock for everyday enjoyment

This month the germs seem to have flown in on the coat tails of the standard post-holiday physical and mental collapse.  Illness has spread through the office here like an avalanche in December, no person was left behind. I thought I was going to make it through this one, as I listened to co-workers cough and complain about various stomach bugs, it seemed to be working its way out of the area.  And then BOOM!  There it was.  I was innocently watching TV on a Tuesday night when all  of a sudden I realized that I had been compromised, symptoms of a potential fever and stomach bug had slipped in when I let my guard down.  Stubborn as I am, I decided I would feel better in the morning and be able to go to work.  I was wrong. 

If you have ever had a stomach bug I know you can relate - you can only eat crackers and chicken broth for so long before you start to lose your mind.  So as my symptoms persisted and I continued on in my off kilter state I began wondering what else my body would let me keep down.   It had to be liquid, not too spicy, and still have flavor.  So, I came upon the idea of garlic soup.  Raw garlic is very potent so it might have been too harsh on my stomach, but roasted garlic would smooth out nicely and had a hint of sweetness to it.  Well, I have to tell you - it was definitely a winner.  For us this recipe is a keeper, not just for sick days but also as a side with dinner with crusty bread or reheated for lunch (it is really amazing the next day).  So now I bring it to the table to share with you, now that I am happily in a fully recovered state, I hope you enjoy!

For the love of the garlic -

2 large whole heads garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
To bring it all together, everything else you'll need -
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt

Hardware: aluminum foil, soup pot

1. Cut the tops off the garlic heads just to expose the tops of all of the bulbs. Place in a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle tops with olive oil, salt and pepper.

2. Close the foil around them in a sort of packet, leaving some space between the tops and the foil, and place in the oven at 350 degrees F.  Roast until soft and fragrant, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove, allow to cool, and squeeze out the garlic into a bowl.

3. In a large, heavy soup pot over medium-high heat melt the butter, add the roasted garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes. Gradually add in the flour and cook until a dark golden roux is achieved, stirring constantly.

4. Next add 1 cup chicken stock, stir well to combine, and repeat until all the chicken stock has been added. Add the Italian seasoning, remaining salt, and stir until consistent throughout. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

5. Slowly add in the cream, cook for 10 minutes more at a very low simmer stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning, if needed and serve with crusty bread.

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