Garlic Soup

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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This is to be made when new-season’s garlic is available, with its plump cloves still encased in soft damp skins and when the flavour, while indisputably powerful, is not yet demonic. Though the recipe calls for 30 cloves, they will cook to a subtle and gentle taste and the result will be surprisingly mellow. The combination of egg yolks and turmeric makes this a very colourful first course, the strong yellow of the soup contrasting prettily with the bright green chives.


  • ¼ baguette
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 900 g/2 lb onions
  • 30 cloves of new-season’s garlic
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 litres/ pt chicken stock
  • yolks of 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 16-24 chive stalks, to garnish



Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Cut 4—6 slices of baguette, brush them with some of the olive oil and crisp on a baking tray in the oven until golden brown. Check every few minutes as they burn easily. When done transfer to a tray and reserve.

Peel and slice the onions. Peel and chop the garlic.


Fry the onions in the remaining oil in a large heavy saucepan over a low heat until translucent, taking care not to let them brown as this would spoil both the colour and the flavour.

Add the garlic to the pan and continue cooking gently for 3 minutes, stirring.

Sprinkle over the flour and turmeric, stir these in and cook for a minute before adding the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Liquidize in a blender or food processor, return to the saucepan and bring back to a simmer.

Beat the egg yolks with the vinegar. Continuing to beat, add about half a ladle of the broth in a thin stream and, when well combined, pour this liaison back into the soup, stirring vigorously. The soup must not boil now or the eggs will cook and separate from the liquid, so remove from the heat before tasting and adding more salt and pepper if it needs it.


Put a croûte in each bowl, ladle over the soup and garnish with 4 chives per bowl, cut into 2.5 cm/ 1 in lengths. They somehow look more dramatic against the bright yellow of the soup when not snipped too small.

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