AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Growing Garlic (Recipe: Garlic Soup) DATE: 9/23/2009 10:50:00 AM ----- BODY:
picture from Cambridge Buzz

Every spring when I see garlic scapes at the Farmers’ Market, I slap my forehead wondering how I could forget again to plant garlic. Garlic, like Brussels sprouts, has a 6-month growing season. But unlike Brussels sprouts, which I see at the market when I’m gathering my other spring and summer crops, the garlic goes in when I’m cleaning up the gardening in preparation for the winter. Specifically, it’s planted four weeks before the ground freezes.

This year, I put the date on my calendar. September 24th: Plant Garlic. Thankfully, I received an email reminder from Seeds of Change to order my garlic seeds.

Garlic bulbs grow from the previous season’s cloves. But, you can’t just pick up a bulb from the local market. Not all garlic will sprout. Nowadays, much of the supermarket garlic is bred to not sprout. And most likely it is not organic. So, I accept that I will order garlic “seed” on-line. That was an easy decision.

Hard Neck vs. Soft Neck
The hard neck garlic produces the scape – the garlic flavored green shoot that sprouts up before the bulb is mature. The bulbs, once harvested, can be stored up to six months.

The soft neck garlic doesn’t produce the scape, but they have a longer storage life – up to one year.

Beyond that, there are about a dozen varieties of each. Purple skin, white skin, large bulb, small bulb. Spicy, mild. Suitable for warm climates, cold climates. And it’s unclear if I’ll actually get what I order… Seeds of Change does not guarantee quantities of any variety, so I threw a dart to the wall to decide.

I ordered one “unit” of soft neck and one “unit” of hardneck. Each unit has 3 bulbs, totally approximately 20-30 seeds. I'll be safe of vampires next summer. Stay tuned…

For more tips on growing garlic, go here.

And to get in the mood for garlic, here’s a variation on the classic Spanish Garlic Soup.

Garlic Soup with Romesco

12 + garlic cloves
8 slices bread
1/4 cup olive oil
8 cups chicken stock
3 tbs. sherry fino
3 eggs
2 tbs. cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add garlic and cook until it begins to brown. Remove.
2. Fry bread in oil. Set aside.
3. Return garlic to pan, add chicken stock and sherry. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Puree.
5. Beat eggs with cream. Slowly pour a ladel of soup into egg mix. Whisk into remaining soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat to just below simmer. Garnish with Romesco and Parsley

Romesco
1 red peppers
1 hot pepper
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove,
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tomato
1/4 cup almonds
balsamic or red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Seed peppers and cut into quarters. Cut tomato into quarters.
2. Put all ingredients, except vinegar, in a pot. Roast until peppers begin to brown.
3. Drain oil and reserve. Puree remaining ingredients. Drizzle in oil. Adjust seasoning with vinegar, salt and pepper.


That extra loving touch: In a skillet, add 1/4 cup olive oil. Fry almond slices, garlic slices and parsley leaves. When garlic begins to brown, drain on a paper towel and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish crouton with crispies.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:9/23/2009 03:19:00 PM Og garlic...I love you! This sounds wonderful! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:9/23/2009 06:27:00 PM I love garlic soup. It sounds like it should have such a strong taste, but the garlic mellows in cooking and creates a wonderfully smooth soup. And even better that you've made it with your own garlic! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger adele DATE:9/24/2009 07:35:00 AM Hmm. I've been on a soup kick lately, and if it gets just a little colder, this might be dinner sometime on the weekend. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous DATE:9/24/2009 12:33:00 PM Hood River Garlic (as you mentioned) has a wonderfull website: www.hoodrivergarlic.com and for those of your readers who are in the south, try:
www.GourmetGarlicGardens.com It is run by Bob Anderson in Texas, my home state.

Sincerely,
GarlicMan76458 ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Steve DATE:9/24/2009 09:39:00 PM What a great post. I, like you, have been smacking myself for years for not growing my own. Nice to know at least one of us has broken that bad habit. The best garlic soup I ever had was years ago in Munich, Germany. This recipe looks like it could give that soup a run for the money, thanks for posting it. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:9/25/2009 12:38:00 AM The soup sounds delicious! I really screwed up my garlic storage after I received it from the CSA - so I will go better next year. Kudos for growing yourself! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Grace DATE:9/25/2009 10:28:00 AM this soup'll keep the vampires away, that's for sure! i learned more about garlic from this one post than in 26 years of living. :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:9/26/2009 07:04:00 AM noble pig -- really, what's not to love about garlic? :)

Lydia -- I know! I was scared the first time I made it.

adele -- I guess that's the nice thing about fall -- cooler weather more soups.

GarlicMan -- Thanks for the endorsement.

Steve -- Let's hope I can take it all the way and have a harvest.

T.W. -- oh no! What happened?!?

Grace -- that and the burning sage - I think I'll be "evil spirit" free for a while. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lori Lynn DATE:9/27/2009 12:41:00 AM Sounds way too good. We had a garlic soup in the mountains of Peru that we still long for... This recipe looks amazing to me. Alas, I am now cooking low cholesterol, no egg yolk, but I am wondering if it would work with the white only?
LL ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Karen DATE:9/28/2009 06:46:00 PM oh, yum! I wasn't going to grow garlic, but then I found out that our CSA doesn't offer it in bulk. So I ordered from Territorial, and got a little carried away. I think I have 6 kinds coming soon. Didn't realize that it should be planted 4 weeks before frost, tho, so I hope I'm not too late! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Mini Baker DATE:9/30/2009 07:30:00 PM yum yum yummm! aside from chocolate, garlic is my favorite thing on this planet.... another one of my new favorite things is your blog! I'm so excited I found it!
-Mini Baker ----- --------