Saturday, October 15, 2011

Roasted Garlic, Lemon, and Veggie Soup

When hubs and I first started dating, one of the things I immediately loved about him is the fact that he's an awesome cook.  The first time I saw his apartment, I noticed the all-clad professional series pots and pans -- and I was even more smitten than I already was.

And then, there was the night when he roasted garlic.

I'd had a long and tiring day at work, and since we hadn't yet moved in together, we'd coordinated that I'd go over to his place after leaving the office.  I was feeling reeeallllly tired, but as I was walking down the hall, I noticed that something smelled absolutely delicious.  As I got closer to his apartment, the smell got stronger, and I started drooling.  (I should mention that I frequently sport the Pavlovian dog motif.)  I walked in the door, and Oh.  My.  God.  The smell of roasted garlic was sublime.

In that moment, I knew: he's The One.  No joke.  Love blossomed over roasted garlic.

Hubs and I learned how to roast garlic from reading Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, but Angela at Oh She Glows has a tutorial on the same method that Sir Bittman (in my mind, homeslice has totally been knighted for his sustained awesomeness) recommends -- replete with amazing pictures.

And, since fall has arrived, I've been in serious soup-craving mode.  I love, love, love soups.  They're easy to cook, delicious, and they feel so nourishing and homey that as soon as it starts getting chilly out, I can't get enough of the stuff.  So, I decided to substitute raw garlic for roasted garlic (credit also goes to Angela at OSG for that idea!) in one of my favorite soups.  This one involves garlic, lemon, fresh herbs, veggies, and chickpeas, and the raw-for-roasted substitution brought it to a whole new level of yumminess.

Roasted Garlic, Lemon, Veggie, and Chickpea Soup
1 onion
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon
1 head of garlic
1 1/2 GF pasta (I like Tinkyada tricolor fusili)
1 vegetable boullion cube
Fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano
3 cups water

While the garlic is roasting, chop up the onion and cook, with olive oil, over medium-high heat until browned.

While the onions are browning, chop the carrots and celery, and make a bouquet garnis by tying twine around the fresh herbs:

Add the carrots and celery to the onions, and stir.

Add the chickpeas, water and the boullion cube, and tie the bouquet garnis to the side of the pot (basically, this is so it doesn't get lost in the soup -- fishing out a pack o' herbs when all you want to do is eat isn't fun).

Once the veggies are almost tender, add the pasta.  Let it all cook until the pasta is al dente and the veggies are tender, at which point it's, shall we say, copacetic (I've been wanting to use that word for days now!  Huzzah!) to retrieve the bouquet garnis.

At this point, the garlic should be roasted, soft, and freaking delicious.  Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a bowl, mash them into a paste, and add to the soup.  As a finishing touch, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the soup and stir.  Garnish with a pinch of salt and pepper, serve hot, and enjoy!

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