Though I add copious fresh garlic to nearly everything I cook, I tend to think of it as a condiment—something to add flavor to dishes, not nutrients. But garlic is actually a nutritional powerhouse in and of itself—it’s been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, protect your heart, fight inflammation and fight bacterial infections. It’s rich in health-promoting sulfur compounds, Vitamin C, selenium and manganese.
Which all seems like good reason to promote garlic from an ancillary cooking character to the star of its own dishes, no? The following recipe for chilled garlic soup (adapted from The Herb Bible by Peter McHoy and Pamela Westland) is just way to do so in this summer heat.
Chilled Garlic Soup
1 bulb fresh garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices whole-grain bread, cut into small cubes
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup raw almonds
salt and pepper
Blend almonds and garlic in food processor until it forms a paste.
Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic/almond paste and bread cubes until cubes are golden brown.
Put garlic paste back in food processor, along with bread cubes, vegetable broth and white wine. Season with salt and pepper, then process until smooth.
Stir in chives.
Chill for at least one hour before serving.
Photo: JJ Harrison