Garlic Soup

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

This is an easy and quick soup to make. It is garlicky, but in a refined and understated way, as the garlic is tempered by the cooking and sweetened by the light caramelization of the other vegetables. Rapini, also called broccoli rabe, adds a slightly bitter counterpoint to sweet richness of the soup.


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 large brown onions (2 pounds), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks (12 ounces), trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot (4 ounces), trimmed, peeled, and orally chopped
  • 1 large parsnip (3 ounces), trimmed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cups Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
  • 2 russet potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 large heads (1 pound) garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • Bouquet garni (5 sprigs Italian parsley, 3 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch rapini (8 ounces)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


The Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock, warm, in a medium saucepan over low heat.

In a large stockpot, over medium-high heat, preheat 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Sauté the onions, celery, carrot, and parsnip until the vegetables are lightly colored, about 10 minutes. Stir the vegetables frequently to prevent uneven browning. Pour in the warm stock. Add the potatoes, garlic, and bouquet garni, and gently simmer until the vegetables are softened, about 1 hour. It is important that the garlic be soft enough to puree smoothly.

Remove the bouquet garni and puree the soup, in batches, using a food mill or blender. Using a coarse-mesh, stainless-steel strainer, strain into a clean stockpot and correct the seasoning to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Keep warm over low heat until needed, or allow to cool and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days.

Using a sharp knife, cut off the top 2 inches of each rapini stalk, reserving the tops and discarding the remaining portions. In a medium sauté pan, over high heat, preheat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to smoking. Sauté the rapini tops until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Season the rapini with about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Warm the soup over low heat if necessary. Ladle about 8 ounces into each large, warm soup plate. Add a few sprigs of seared rapini and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to each portion, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton's The Food of Campanile
© 1997 by Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton. All rights reserved