I bought saffron a while back at Trader Joe’s. It’s been sitting on my spice shelf, patiently waiting for the day it would get used. That day was today. After a day of heavy eating, my husband had Huevos Rancheros and I had green chile carnitas and eggs, we wanted something light. Searching though Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I noticed that there were quite a few recipes for garlic soup. I had lots of garlic on hand, because we’ve been getting it in our CSA box. Then, I flipped to the next page, and there was a variation with potatoes and saffron. It was decided. I was making this weird sounding soup.
16 cloves of unpeeled garlic
2 quarts of water
2 teaspoons of salt
pinch of pepper
1/8 teaspoon of cloves
1/4 teaspoon of sage (I used fresh)
1/4 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 a bay leaf
4 parsley sprigs
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups of diced boiling potatoes
pinch of saffron
1. In boiling water, add the garlic cloves and boil for 30 seconds. Drain the boiling water, and rinse with cold water. Peel the skin from the garlic.
2. In a soup pot, add everything except the potatoes and saffron. Cook over medium high heat for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the garlic. I actually kept it in, because we love garlic, but the original recipe calls to remove it.
4. Add the potatoes and saffron. Cook for 20 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender
Julia Child describes the soup as being a light and wonderful tasting soup, and that you wouldn’t guess its main ingredient was garlic. She was so right. The flavor of this soup was to die for! It was just what I needed to balance out a heavy meal earlier in the day.
Man, a little saffron goes a long way. And, I swear, it multiplies when added to food. I did not put much in, but it was present in every bite. I think it looks like little octopuses in the image above. The soup all together was delicious. I know I will make this again, and I also think it would make an amazing base for a more complex soup. Yum. Hurray for Garlic!