Well, i'm not feeling very good at the moment. whether it's because of brain damage caused by my big bike stack or something else i dunno. But it made me think of this good tonic.
Not much beats this Mexican garlic soup. I forgot how good it is until Shane came and stayed and I made him make it. He made it over and over and it always went down a treat. It's warming, golden and delicous.
Particularly good if you’ve been being a trash bag, then on Monday you start to feel crappy and suddenly want to act like you’re taking care of yourself by eating good warming garlicky food. Although I know I said it about pickle soup, this is also definitely vegetarian jewish penicillin (chicken soup).
The key is to buy good garlic if you can (not that imported Chinese crap) and be really careful not to fry it for too long. It's basically foolproof but if you burn or overcook the garlic you better start again or it'll taste bitter and crap.
You will need
1 whole head of garlic
2 ancho chilies*, crushed dried chilli or good chilli powder
4 medium tomatoes (tinned ok if you have to)
7 cups vegie stock
Separate the garlic cloves, peel and chop them coarsely (while muttering coarse language.) Chop the tomatoes into smallish chunks. Slice the baguette into 1cm slices. If using the ancho chilies stem and seed them and chop them coarsely too.
Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large heavy frypan until smoking. Add the garlic and stir over medium heat for one minute – or until lightly toasted. Don’t let it go more than pale golden. Transfer the garlic to a large soup pot.
Add as many slices of bread to the frypan as will fit in one layer and fry for a minute or so until it goes nice and golden and a bit crunchy. Turn it over and do the other side. Drain on some old paper and set aside. Do all the bread this way. You will probably need to add a bit of extra oil.
Now place the tomatoes and chilli in the frypan and stir until the tomatoes are a bit wilted (1-2 minutes). If you’re using the chilli powder use 1 – 2 teaspoons, the soup should be warm but not hot, chilli wise. Transfer to the soup pot and add the stock and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the garlic is soft.
Ladle the piping hot soup into bowls and garnish each serve with fried bread and a dollop of sour cream. Serve to your adoring housemates, friends and lovers.
* These are a dried chilli available from Mexican and Central American suppliers. In Melbourne try Casa Latina on Johnson St.
Friday, April 15, 2005