Too hot for soup. But not for a chilled one.
This cooled soup is smooth and light, and thanks to the surprisingly enormous amount of fresh garlic, it has a lovely, earthy sweetness.
I imagine this to be eaten from a thermos in the park, or from tiny bowls with tiny poached quails egg to garnish. Oh, and if the weather forces on our anoraks, have it hot.
FRESH GARLIC VICHYSSOISE
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large leek, roughly chopped, white bit only
15 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and halved
1 potato, peeled and chopped
500ml chicken stock
150ml double cream
1/4 tsp ground mace or nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt, extra to serve
generous pinch coarsely ground black pepper
2 ice cubes
2 quails eggs (optional)
handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
Melt the butter in a medium pan and add the olive oil. Add the onion and slowly cook to soften but not colour. Then, add the leek and the halved garlic cloves and fry on a low heat for 5 minutes. Now add the potato and, after two minutes on a gentle heat, pour in the stock. Simmer the soup, unseasoned at this point, for 20 minutes. Do not bring to the boil as this may spoil the flavour of the garlic.
Leave the soup to cool slightly before pouring it into a blender. Add the cream and seasoning and whizz. Pour, through a sieve, into a jug and taste - it may be tempting to add more at this stage but I'd leave it to cool completely before adding more salt.
Making sure the soup has cooled down completely add the ice cubes to the jug, cover and leave in the fridge for an hour or until ready to serve.
Just before serving, bring a small pan of water to the boil. Take the pan off the heat. Drop in the shelled quails eggs, one by one, from a small cup that is almost touching the surface of the water. Leave to cook for 1 minute and remove with a slotted spoon.
Serve the soup into small bowls and carefully place the egg on top. Scatter with parsley and light drizzle of oil.