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Posted for Zaar World Tour 2006 from An Exaltation Of Soups....Reputedly a French elixir for convalescents and birthing mothers — and a godsend for those with hangovers — this delicate soup is almost unexplainably comforting. It's very soft, and the fragrances of the herbed broth and fruity olive oil help the tender bread sop and cheese slip right down to comfort a tight stomach.
- 4 -12 slices French bread, thin slices of day-old (1 to 3 per person, depending on size they should fill the bottom surface of the soup plate you are u)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups water
- 24 garlic cloves, sliced lengthwise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig sage (if you use dried sage, tie 1 teaspoon of it in a cheesecloth bag so you can easily remove it from th)
- gruyere cheese, grated for garnish
- Brush the bread slices with olive oil and toast in a 350 degree oven until dry, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine the water, salt, garlic, bay leaves, and sage.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until the garlic is very soft.
- Remove the bay leaves and sage sprig, and puree the soup in a blender.
- Pour it back into the pan, cover, and let steep until you are ready to serve it, at least 10 minutes.
- Heat your soup plates in the oven for a few minutes, then layer their bottoms with the toasted bread slices.
- Sprinkle the toast with the cheese, then with any remaining olive oil.
- Reheat the soup to a boil, ladle it over the toast, and serve immediately.