Garlic Soup

James Beard

Author and Educator

“The robust and beautiful flavor of this soup is something that could never, ever be achieved with garlic powder. So leave those substitutes on the shelf, look at them once in a while with distaste—and then forget about them.”

–James Beard


  • 3 tablespoons chicken, goose, or pork fat
  • 30 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg as needed
  • 4 or 5 egg yolks
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil


Melt fat in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add garlic and shake over gentle heat so the garlic cooks without browning. It should just melt in the fat; letting it brown is fatal as the flavor turns bitter.

Add chicken stock and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I also like to grate a tiny bit of nutmeg in. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, and then force through a sieve or food mill to purée the garlic.

Reheat the soup. Beat egg yolks, and stir in olive oil. Stir some of the hot soup into the egg yolk mixture to temper them, and then stir it very gently into the soup and heat. Do not under any circumstances let the soup come to a boil, or the yolks will curdle. Serve in large soup plates, ladling the soup over pieces of crisp toast, one to a plate.


6 to 8 servings