With the CDC saying there's a particularly virulent strain of the flu going around—one not expected and therefore not covered in the vaccine for this season—odds are, at some point this winter, you're going to find yourself bedridden. You might, in that situation find solace, if not relief, in this recipe.
I tried as many variations on garlic soup as I could find. I wanted something, well… garlicky, but I didn't want it to be boring and one-dimensional. It needed to be robust and not thin and broth-y, without distracting unduly from the hero of the dish. What I've developed is a full-forced garlic broth, cooked with pasta and lima beans (for complimentary heft). It's finished by tempering eggs into the broth and serving with a swirl of raw kale pesto, bringing some healthy greens and a pungent raw garlic bite to contrast with the savory cooked garlic. This can all come together surprisingly quick, even under 30 minutes.
6 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tbs dark miso (optional)
1 cup small pasta (elbow, penne or rotini)
1 cup frozen lima beans (or peas)
2 eggs, beaten
5-6 large leaves lacinto / dinosaur kale, stemmed
2 cloves of garlic peeled
1 tbs pine nuts, lightly toasted
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper
juice of 1 lime
Toast the pine nuts lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often. In a food processor, compine 2 whole, peeled cloves of garlic with the pine nuts, kale, salt, red pepper and 1 tbs of olive oil. Pulse it until it is well combined, adding more oil as needed. Remove to a mixing bowl and fold in lime juice to taste.
In a measuring cup, whip the miso with a half-cup of vegetable stock until dissolved. Combine with the rest of the stock in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add garlic, thyme, bay and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 min. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente (stirring occasionally). Add frozen beans to the soup and simmer 1 more minute.
Turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Working quickly, beat two eggs in a measuring cup, remove broth from the pot 2 tablespoons at a time and whip it into the eggs. Repeat until the mixture is hot, nearly as hot as the soup. You want the eggs to become tempered to the heat without cooking them into solidity. It might take upwards of two cups of broth. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the egg mixture.
Serve each bowl with a heaping tablespoon of kale pesto, and maybe something tasty, like a toasted baguette, sprinkled with parmesan.
It's worth noting that it only makes sense to make as much soup as you will eat in one sitting. The pasta will get overly soft in the fridge and the egg will separate upon reheating. That said, I do often make extra of the kale pesto and save it for a later, quick and easy meal of pasta with pesto.