Once I tried to make the garlic soup in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I didn’t have all the right herbs, and I don’t know what else happened, but it was just plain wrong. There was no mellow garlic flavor; this was enough to paralyze every vampire within a 100-yard radius. I made it for The Big Boss that night, and evidently he is no vampire – he devoured four bowls as an appetizer. I sacrificed the rest to the kitchen drain gods – it was just too strong for the rest of us.

That idea of garlic soup, a strong, aromatic, rejuvenating broth, really appeals to me, though, and I decided I was brave enough to try it again for a dinner guest this week. I used herbs from my garden and homemade stock made from leftover roasted chicken, and it turned out to be a really lovely, mellow-flavored soup.

You don’t have to worry about peeling and mincing the garlic very much. I cut and smashed a whole head of garlic, then strained it after simmering. This was a simple and flavorful started to our dinner of handmade ravioli and artichokes, but it’s has been just as tasty for breakfast with a piece of toast and a poached egg. Try it.


Garlic and bread soup

Life in a Skillet
This rejuvenating garlic soup is thickened with bread - fast and simple to make
Course Appetizer, dinner
Cuisine soup


  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh marjoram
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 4 oz day-old sourdough or French baguette
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese


  • Cut the head of garlic crosswise, then cut each half in quarters.
  • With the flat part of a chef's knife, smash each chunk of garlic so that the papery coatings are loose.
  • Pour chicken stock into a large saucepan.
  • Add the garlic - don't worry about the peels being added to the soup.
  • Add bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.
  • Strain and return to the saucepan on low heat.
  • Add bread and stir occasionally until dissolved.
  • Serve in a warm mug topped with Parmesan cheese.


Omit the bread to make this gluten-free.