On my last trip to the grocery store, I came across Black Garlic. I’ve read about it before, but had never actually bought any. This time however, I decided to change that!
Once at home, I did a little more research, and discovered that Black Garlic is actually caramelized garlic. It is slowly “cooked” for several weeks, whole, skin and all until the cloves of garlic are a deep black color and quite soft. The flavor mellows out and becomes, I’m not sure how to exactly describe it, sweet, a bit tangy, and just the perfect add-in when something you’re cooking needs a little something! I guess umami would be the word I’m looking for!
I found my Black Garlic at New Seasons, but Trader Joe’s often carries it too, I’ve heard. If you try only one new ingredient this month, make it this incredibly versatile and intriguing ingredient! I bought enough to use in a number of different recipes, and will report more on it. I also will start to caramelize some of my own garlic, using my rice cooker! Watch for updates on this!
My first experiment was a vegan tomato soup, for which I used half a head of Black Garlic. The garlic added a mysterious, pleasant and a “can’t quite put my finger on it” flavor to this silky soup. If you add a scoop of cooked rice to your bowl and a salad, you’ll have a tasty dinner on the table in no time.
If you can’t find Black Garlic, use a little fresh or even roasted garlic. I know it’s not the same, but still very delicious.
Here’s the recipe:
- olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 of a head of Black Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 large can of fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
- 1 can (14 oz) of regular coconut milk
- about 2 tablespoons of sugar or other sweetener
- cooked rice
- some fresh chopped herbs like chives or basil
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil.
Add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt.
Sauté until the onions are fragrant and beginning to brown.
Add the black garlic and sauté a few more minutes.
Next, add both the crushed and chopped tomatoes and simmer a few minutes.
Purée the soup using an immersion blender, but leave some texture.
Pour the coconut milk into the soup.
If the soup is too thick for your taste, add a little water or vegetable broth.
Stir, and taste. Add a little salt if needed and some sugar to taste.
Cook over low heat until the flavors have mingled and the soup is piping hot.
Serve with a scoop of rice and a sprinkle of the fresh herbs.