Indulgent and delicious: Garlic Soup

It’s fall and it’s soup season. As I thought about our dinner and recent CSA pick-up, an amazing Garlic Soup came to mind.  Hubs and I had sampled this delectable dish during a wine-tasting trip to Sonoma. On a whim, we indulged in a multi-course tasting meal and wine pairing at J Vineyards  in the Russian River Valley.  J Vineyards is one of the first vineyards founded by a woman in Sonoma (Judy Jordan), and renowned for its sparkling wines.

Creekside at the lovely J Vineyards

The Garlic Soup was served in an espresso cup as the amuse-bouche. The tiny cup packed a powerful punch: creamy, complex, almost toothsome. All that flavor from a pale, cream-colored soup! It was a total shock. We had to know more…after lunch the chef came to chat with us and the other guests. We inquired about the soup, and a few moments later, he produced a print out of the recipe. I have saved the tattered piece of paper and proudly pulled it out on Saturday to prepare it for dinner. But no more espresso cup-sized portions. I wanted a bowl to myself.

I’ve reproduced the recipe below and borrowed a photo for the visual. My only regret is I do not know the chef’s name – he modestly did not share it on the recipe itself. The photo below is from the Smitten Kitchen blog, which posted a similar recipe from “Bon Appetit.”

Creamy Garlic Soup courtesy of the Smitten Kitchen

Creamy Garlic Soup
recipe adapted from the J Vineyards Bubble Room


2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, thinly sliced (1 medium onion)
15 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup Pinot Gris or other dry white wine
1/4 bunch of fresh thyme, chopped, no stems
1 quart vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 cups of French bread, cubed into 2″ pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives for garnish


Heat butter in a large soup pot. Add onion and garlic, cook over medium heat for 10 -12 minutes. The onion and garlic should begin to caramelize. Add the wine and thyme, continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add the stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add bread cubes, allow to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Use a hand held blender and puree until smooth. Add the cream and taste for salt and pepper. Serve in a shallow bowl and garnish with chives.

Yield: 4 cups, or 2 bowls.

Warning:  Highly addictive.

And, if you are planning a visit to Napa or Sonoma, go to J Vineyards and reserve a spot for lunch or dinner at the Bubble Room.

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