It is the season to be thankful, and thankfully there are lots of tasty soups with which to fill the fancy tureen on Thanksgiving day. Helen Corbitt's cream of mushroom soup is one favorite. Or a spicy-sweet pumpkin soup. Or potato-leek. Or roasted garlic. A-ha! This year I will fill the tureen with roasted garlic soup.
I would like to tell you where this recipe comes from, but I can't, really. It was in a magazine I was reading one day while getting a pedicure. I asked if they had a photocopier in the beauty shop so I could take the recipe home with me without stealing the magazine, and lo, the ladies were happy to oblige. So what I have is a copied page from some undisclosed magazine. Maybe "Real Simple," maybe "Cottage Living," who knows. But whoever you are, mystery woman's magazine, I would like to say thank you.
Because this soup is delicious. The luscious, creamy soup is spiked perfectly by a garnish of a few slices of chorizo. The sausage's flavor is the perfect complement to the earthy garlic. I use a chicken sausage that is spiced to resemble pork chorizo because I don't eat pork. (Feel free to substitute if you do.) And good luck not going back for seconds, this soup is so good. But you have to leave room for the turkey, you know.
Your lovely autumnal tureen, if you have one, is going to thank you. So is your family. And it must be said: if you do not have a fancy autumnal tureen, no worries. Roasted garlic soup is astounding even when served out of a paper cup.
ROASTED GARLIC SOUP
It might be a good idea to double this recipe if you're feeding a small army, as many of us do on Thanksgiving.
3 heads of garlic
4 t. olive oil, divided
8 oz. chorizo-spiced chicken sausage (or pork chorizo, if that's how you roll)
2 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion
2 t. fresh thyme leaves
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly-cracked black pepper
4 c. chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
1/3 c. heavy cream
Roast the garlic. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut about 1 inch off the stem end of the heads of garlic, revealing the tops of the cloves inside. Place the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 3 t. of the olive oil. Fold the foil over the garlic and seal the edges to form a package. Roast in the oven until the cloves are very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let the garlic cool enough to be handled.
While the garlic is roasting, sauté the chorizo. Slice the sausages on the bias into pieces that are about 1/4-inch thick. Heat the remaining 1 t. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chorizo in a single layer and cook until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel; set aside.
After the garlic is cool enough to handle, extract the roasted garlic from the papery skin by squeezing the cloves. Work over a small bowl; set aside the roasted garlic.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper and cook until the onion is translucent and soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and chicken stock; stir. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree using an immersion blender or a regular-ol' blender. (If using a traditional blender, work in batches.)
Add the heavy cream. (If using a traditional blender, return the pureed soup to the pot before adding the cream.) Reheat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve hot, topped with chorizo slices.
Serves 6, as a first course.