Whole cloves of garlic, uncut and simmered gently for an hour with aromatics, yield a mild, sweet tasting, comforting broth. According to Johnny Bowden, a nutritionist, garlic needs to be crushed, sliced or chopped for its health-boosting compounds to be released. For this broth, I just crush the cloves lightly by leaning on them with the flat side of my knife; the less crushed they are, the milder the broth will taste.
- 2 heads garlic
- 2 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a couple of sprigs each of thyme and parsley and a fresh sage leaf
- Salt to taste
1. Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice and water. Separate the head of garlic into cloves and drop them into the boiling water. Blanch for 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then drain and remove the skins from the garlic cloves. They should be loose and easy to remove. Lightly crush the cloves by pressing on them with the flat side of a chef’s knife.
2. Place the garlic cloves in a large saucepan with the remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Strain. Taste and adjust salt as desired.
Yield: 2 quarts
Advance preparation: This can be made a day ahead and freezes well. But it’s at its best if it is eaten the same day it is made.