Roasted Garlic Soup with Chicken and Spinach

I really love garlic. If you haven’t noticed, most of my soups start with directions to “saute chopped onions and crushed garlic in olive oil.” Garlic has been used in cooking for 7,000 years. Garlic can be grown in most climates. Some claim garlic has great health benefits and will reduce cholesterol. I’m sad to report that the National Institutes of Health did a study and this isn’t true. But it tastes good, keeps for a long time and should really be a staple in every pantry.

I found a recipe for Garlic Soup on Epicurious.com. It called for cream and since I am trying to avoid cream, I made some minor modifications to the recipe. This was a bit fussy for me, but it was worth the extra dishes and time.

Roasted Garlic Soup with Chicken and Spinach
26 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP Butter
1 medium onion, sliced
6 whole peeled garlic cloves
1 quart broth of choice
1/2 lb sauteed chicken
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped spinach
1 TBSP basil

1. Place the unpeeled garlic and 2 TBSP of olive oil in a small oven safe bowl.
2. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
3. Cool and squeeze out the garlic cloves into another bowl.
4. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add the roasted and raw garlic and cook for a few minutes.
6. Add the broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the raw garlic is soft.
7. Transfer to another pan. Cool and puree. You may need to puree in batches, depending on the size of the appliance you use. I used a standard kitchen blender. I pureed in two batches.
8. Saute chicken in the same pan over medium until thoroughly cooked.
9. Add the frozen spinach and basil and heat until warmed through.
10. Combine with the pureed broth. If you’re interested, it’s here that you would add 1/2 cup heavy cream. I didn’t do this so my picture reflects no cream.

You can serve topped with Parmesan or Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese. The original recipe calls for a lemon wedge. That sounds pretty good to me but I don’t have any lemons right now.

This recipe would be pretty easy to make either low fat or fat free. You could very easily skip the butter that is used to cook the onion and reuse the olive oil used to roast the garlic. You could choose fat free broth (I actually did). And you don’t need the cheese.

I would have eaten this without the chicken and spinach, but since I take most of these soups for lunch, I decided the addition of some protein and iron would be a good choice. If you’re a soup and sandwich kind of person, this would be great with Grilled Cheese on a nice hard crusted bread, made with some very sharp cheddar. It’s a nice buttery yellow color which could be very soothing on a dreary winter day.

Enjoy!

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