I once knew a Sicilian woman who used to say “garlic should kiss you on the lips, not slap you in the face.” I quite agree. Garlic is one of my favorite alliums but it is entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. This is why I like to roast it.
Roasting garlic gives it a sweetness. You can use a whole bulb and it won’t overwhelm you.
Below is my recipe for roasted garlic tomato soup with cream. You can omit the cream if you like but as I live in Northern Europe and it’s winter, I’ll be keeping it in probably until summer–all three days of it. One of the reasons I love this recipe, other than the taste, is that it’s extremely easy to make. The ingredients are few and most of them are kitchen staples you’ll have on hand.
1 head of garlic
2 x 400 g cans of chopped tomatoes
1/2 c to 3/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c dry sherry
salt/pepper/red pepper flakes
2 tbsp to 1/3 c. double cream
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6/
Trim the top off the garlic bulb. Drizzle it with olive oil. Wrap it in tin foil and place it on a baking tray. Roast it for about 45 minutes or until the cloves are soft.
While the garlic is roasting, heat some olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes then the tomatoes. When they start to thicken, stir in the sherry. After five minutes, add the chicken stock. Simmer for half an hour.
Once the garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, squeeze them into the soup. Season to taste and add the cream a spoonful at a time.
Use a hand blender to blend until smooth. Top with basil chiffonade and serve.