French Garlic Soup
(Soupe a l'ail)

This traditional recipe for french garlic soup comes from the Languedoc region of France. This region stretches from the Nimes in the east to the spanish border in the west, an area sandwiched between the mountains and the Mediterranean. Because of it's climate it is home to one of France's greatest fruit and vegetable growers, therefore the food here is full of colours and flavours.

Historically, garlic has always been one of the main vegetables eaten in France, my first recollection of someone french is a Frenchman in a stripey black and white shirt, with a string of garlic round his neck riding a bike. More seriously, it's probably one of the contributing factors why the french have a lower cholesterol problem in France than the UK.

French Garlic Soup (Soupe a L'ail)

serves:- 4, Preparation:- 5 mins, cooking time:-30 mins,

Ingredients

* 1 litre or 2 pints of chicken stock
* 8 cloves of garlic, minced
* 75g or 3oz of duck fat
* 2 eggs, separated
* 1 bouquet garni
* salt & pepper
* 4 slices of stale bread toasted
* 75g or 3oz of grated cheese.

Method

* bring the stock to the boil

* fry the garlic in the duck fat, then add to the stock

* add the bouquet garni and simmer for 20 mins

* remove the bouquet garni

* beat the egg whites lightly and add to the soup

* as soon as they have set remove from the heat

* whisk some of the soup with the egg yolks a bit at a time

* then pour into the rest of the soup

* add salt and pepper to taste

* put a slice of the stale, toasted bread in the bottom of the bowl

* cover with grated cheese

* pour on the soup, cut the egg whites into pieces if you like

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