While probably not to everyone's taste – it’s not even to every Frenchman’s taste – garlic soup is believed to be beneficial to one’s health. The secret is to use only the freshest cloves of garlic; if it doesn’t look fresh, it probably isn’t.
This recipe is from the Dordogne, but there are variations on this theme across much of southern France. For some years, garlic lovers have gathered each February at Villeréal in the Lot-et-Garonne –south-east of Bergerac — to celebrate the art of preparing, and tasting the tourin, also known as le tourin d’ail doux.
In many areas it is normal to pour a little red wine into the bottom of each person’s soup plate first, a practice known as chabrol. And in the south of France, it is traditional to serve tourin to newlyweds.
We have also provided an alternative recipe for garlic soup.
· 10-12 cloves of garlic, chopped
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 tablespoon flour
· 1 litre of water (adjust amount as needed)
· 1 egg, separated
· salt to taste
· pepper to taste
1 tsp vinegar or white wine vinegar
1. In a frying pan, brown the chopped garlic (or optionally, an equal mixture of chopped onions and garlic) in the olive oil.
2. Add the flour.
3. Mix well, then cook for a moment.
4. Add the water gently, stirring all the while, and cook for 10 minutes.
5. In a separate dish, mix the egg yolk, pepper and vinegar.
6. Add the egg white to the soup, while stirring with a whisk, so that no large pieces of egg white form.
7. Cook for another 5 minutes.
8. Remove from heat and add the egg yolk mixture, again stirring to avoid coagulation.
9. Place thin slices of bread in each soup bowl, and pour the soup on top. Serve hot.