Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup

Garlic isn’t one of those things that gets the spotlight very often, and there’s no good reason for it because it seems that just about everyone enjoys it (have you ever met someone who doesn’t just love garlic bread?). I mean granted, your breath won’t be making you any friends for a while after, but you’ll feel happier for having indulged in your garlic craving, right? Whatever the case, this soup is where one my favorite supporting flavors (its probably in almost every meal I prepare :o ) finally gets its time in the sun: roasted garlic chicken soup.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup

I really enjoyed this soup. It was simple in flavor, but surprisingly interesting. You might think you have garlic nailed down, but the soup showcases it in such a way that you really get to appreciate a fuller profile of garlic than you might otherwise. There’s a combination of lightly sautéed cloves of garlic as well as slowly roasted whole heads of garlic, so you simultaneously get to enjoy the mellow, nutty flavors from the roasted garlic while also getting the somewhat pungent, sharper, high notes from less cooked garlic. Swimming in a rich chicken broth with just a dab of cream to give the soup some body, this very much hit the spot for me.

Now whether you’re the type who always makes chicken/beef/whatever stock from scratch or not, this soup is one of the times where a strongly flavored homemade stock can play a very big part in making this something special, so if you’re on the fence, I’m trying to push you over. ;-) Make it fresh this time (not sure how? Its really easy!). You’ll be very glad you did.

Also worth mentioning: this soup can function either as a starter or a main course. Since I’m not the type who typically goes to the trouble of making a starter and an entree when I’m not entertaining, I wanted this to function as a meal, so I roasted a whole chicken, shredded the meat, and added it to the soup. You could skip the chicken, throw in a mix of coarsely chopped veggies (peppers, tomatoes, avocado, etc), or just enjoy it plain. Do whatever suits you.

My inspiration for this soup came from Smitten Kitchen.

  • 5 heads of garlic (not cloves, yes whole heads)
  • 1 ~4 lb chicken
  • handful sprigs of thyme
  • few sprigs of rosemary
  • knob of butter
  • 1 leek
  • 1 shallot
  • 5 cups strongly flavored chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Optional: cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • Optional: 1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce

Roasted chicken

Begin by roasting all that needs roasting. If you’re including chicken, get started with that. I slit the back open and half-ass spatchcocked it to speed up the cooking time a bit, coating the chicken with oil, salt, pepper, and a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary, roasting in the oven until cooked totally through. I also slit the tops off of 3 heads of garlic, coated them in oil, wrapped them in tin foil, and roasted them in the oven as well for about 45 minutes.

When the chicken is done, remove the skin and shred the meat up with your hands. Set it aside for now. Save the bones and other odd bits for stock making another day.

Sauté leek, shallot, thyme, garlic, and roasted garlic

Mince the shallot and pale part of the leek, sweating in butter over medium heat for just shy of 10 minutes. Add the whole (but peeled of paper) cloves from 2 heads of garlic and the thyme leaves (stripped from the stems) and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes. Also squeeze in the roasted garlic flesh (it just pops right out of the paper) for sautéeing during this 3 minutes.

Simmer in chicken stock

Now, pour in the stock and deglaze if necessary. Raise to a boil and simmer this for 20-30 minutes or until the garlic is fork tender. Puree this mixture with a blender (either in batches or with an immersion blender).

With a smooth mixture, finally add in the heavy cream (and shredded chicken if you’re using it) and return to a simmer. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup

Now my wife was disappointed that this wasn’t a spicy soup (it was never my intent! Normally I have the opposite problem…). I added a bit of cayenne and chipotle kind of after the fact to make it more enjoyable for her, and I thought it added a nice touch without overpowering things, so I leave these choices up to you. Whatever the case, fill a bowl with enough broth and pieces of chicken, top with some parmesan and fresh thyme leaves, and enjoy!

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34 Responses to “Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup”

  1. Meeta Says:

    oh it could not get better than this. garlic and chicken in a soup. lovely combination!

  2. Bellini Valli Says:

    Woah…5 heads of garlic Mike. I imagine they would be sweet after the cooking. Does this mean I can stop wearing the garlic around my neck:D

  3. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    That is one freakin’ ton of garlic – even for me! But, it intrigues me, and it looks wonderful. Definitely a married person’s soup. I’d never get a date after eating it! ;)

  4. Joan Nova Says:

    Very nice, Mike. A great option for leftover chicken.

  5. ruhama Says:

    This one intrigues me! My hubby has been exploring the health benefits of garlic lately, too, so this may be the next soup we try.

  6. Peter Says:

    This site will now be a safe haven for those wishing to escape the bite of vampires…garlic in all it’s glory!

  7. Elle Says:

    Hmmm…I think even vampires would love this. Looks delicious!

  8. Lauren Says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! I love the idea of adding a bit of spice to it.

  9. Ben Says:

    Actually I know somebody who hates garlic, but he is a weirdo anyway, lol. Great soup. I can smell it all the way here. Stumbled!

  10. Sophie Says:

    Wow, this soup looks so MMMMMMM….. This looks so fab!!!

  11. grace Says:

    that’s a lot of garlic, which obviously equates to a lot of goodness. nicely done!

  12. Ivy Says:

    Wowwwww that’s a lot of garlic Mike. Until I started blogging I hated garlic and now I add it in nearly everything but I don’t think I’ve ever exceeded two cloves. I can imagine though that it must be delicious.

  13. kellypea Says:

    This really sounds amazing. Yep, I get that it’s heads of garlic. They get all sweet and roasty tasting and I know it would go over extremely well here. YUM!

  14. pam Says:

    I’ve always been curious about garlic soup.

  15. Bunny Says:

    This sounds so good Mike, a great soup!

  16. nithya at hungrydesi Says:

    Wow, I love garlic…I may have to try for a vegetarian version of this…although what to substitute for the chicken since that’s a main component? Any ideas? Btw our favorite Italian restaurant in NY serves garlic bread that’s literally just crusted with garlic. Rajat and I figure that’s one of the many upsides to being married – the resulting garlic breath doesn’t matter :)

  17. mikky Says:

    wow, it looks really good… thanks mike… :)

  18. Kevin Says:

    This soup sounds so good! Another way to enjoy roasted garlic…

  19. Jan Says:

    That soup looks seriously good!
    I will have to have a go at making it – sounds really yummy.

  20. The Duo Dishes Says:

    Garlic is in everything we cook! Except desserts. It would be fun to figure out how to incorporate it in sweets though that we could actually enjoy. But we digress…the soup sounds so creamy and flavorful. This is comfort food.

  21. Lynn Says:

    Mmm, can’t have too much garlic, can you? It sounds delicious.

  22. Hélène Says:

    I would eat this soup ’till the last drop. I love anything with lot’s of garlic and flavors.

  23. the caked crusader Says:

    Looks divine.
    My mother hates garlic – can’t even bear the smell of it cooking. Makes it very difficult when you cook a meal for her!

  24. Toni Says:

    Where were you when I had the flu??? Oh, but this is my kind of soup!

  25. kellypea Says:

    This sounds so yummy! I love roasted garlic — especially when there’s a lot of it in a recipe like this one. Such a sweet mellow flavor. Wish I had a big bowl right now.

  26. David Lawrence Says:

    This soup is the BOMB. I couldn’t eat enough of it, the smell while it was cooking…. well it smells sooooo gooood. It’s hard to wait until it’s done. I LOVE this recipe.
    David

  27. Lou Says:

    Wow, that sounds fantastic, will be trying this one out for sure!

  28. Paula Says:

    i love Chicken Soup it is so yummy.

  29. Fearless Kitchen Says:

    This looks delicious! We’re big garlic fans around here, so this is right up our alley.

  30. Lauren’s Kitchen » Spicy Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup. Deliciously Garlicky. Says:

    [...] way around the food blogs I visit, and I’ve been dying to try it ever since I saw it over on Mike’s Table.  I then realized he had garnered inspiration from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted this recipe from [...]

  31. acnecare8 Says:

    i love to eat Chicken Soup, my mom used always serve that dish with me specially when i am sick during my childhood days.

  32. melatoninsleep Says:

    Chicken soup is one of my favorite dishes when i was a kid and until now. It is tasty and very yummy.

  33. Jill Says:

    Wow! This was a lot of work, took all afternoon, but it is EXCELLENT. I made the stock suggested in the recipe, too, so that’s why it took so long. I didn’t have any shallots, and the store didn’t have any. I used onions. I skipped the cream since I’m on a dairy free diet, and I’m amazed how creamy it is anyway. I’m so happy with my immersion blender because it made this so easy to blend. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

  34. Marshall Gambone Says:

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup from Mike’s Table .

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