44-Clove Garlic (and Chicken) Soup

February 21, 2011 by Ali

As many of you know, I happen to have a small obsession with roasted garlic. And soups. But strangely enough, it wasn’t until this year that I finally decided to try the infamous “44-Clove Garlic Soup” that has made its way around the blogosphere.

Now I have absolutely no idea why I waited. This soup is amazing!

I actually made it for the first time a few weeks ago during Snowmageddon (the crazy blizzard of ’11). It seems like the perfect recipe for a cozy winter day, and I loved the thought of my entire house smelling like that delicious roasted garlic. So I bought an extra few heads of garlic and some fresh thyme the day before the storm hit (an ominous day, thanks to weather forecasting!), pulled up the long-ago bookmarked recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and began cooking as the first flakes began to fall.

Not surprisingly, the soup ended up being a complete delight! I had read other bloggers urgings not to fear the big “44″, but I admit I was still expecting a pretty strong garlic flavor. Not so! I thought this soup was perfectly balanced. The roasted (and cooked) garlic was a subtle but wonderful compliment to the creamy broth, and I loved the simple combination of thyme, Parmesan and a dash of lemon. I also added in some shredded rotisserie chicken at the last minute, which I will definitely do again. I may also experiment with shallots or leeks the next time around instead of onions.

So with that, I cast one more vote into the blogosphere for this delightful soup. I will certainly be making it again soon. :)

44-clove garlic (and chicken) soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 18 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add shredded chicken and cream, and bring to simmer. Season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

Recipe adapted from [Bon Appetit] and Smitten Kitchen

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

Ali’s Tip:

Instead of dividing out the 26 cloves for the first step, I just roasted 3 whole heads of garlic via this method. Once the heads were roasted, I just squeezed out the garlic and continued with the remainder of the recipe.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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22 thoughts on “44-Clove Garlic (and Chicken) Soup

  1. I just made this soup- got the dreaded flu and after being disappointed with my google searching for chicken soup, i searched it on Gimme Some Oven…… It is A-MAZING!! My second batch i added some creamed corn and just as good. Thanks!!

    - Ebony- Australia

  2. I made this soup last night, and would really like to use it for a broth for pasta and mussels. How would you recommend I do this? Should i make the broth and then add the pasta and mussels to cook or should i add the pasta as the broth is simmering for 20 mins. I would really appreciate your feedback.

    - Kayleigh Hendricks

  3. I made this tonight and WOW it was amazing! My kids always make fun of the amount of garlic I use. Tonight really gave them something to tease me about, but they loved it! Thanks for another fantastic recipe.

    - Jessica Ford

  4. OMG – this is right up my alley. I am known as the “Garlic Queen” around family and friends and was actually a finalist in the Gilroy Garlic Festival Cook-Off. I can’t wait to try this!!!

    - Anne@Have a Cookie!

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    - Jeffrey Rollins

  6. I love this soup!

    I make a slight variation where I add chicken bones to the stock and cannelloni beans, carrot, corn, and pumpkin just for more vegetable matter. My friends love both versions equally :)

    - Jess

  7. Made this soup last night and it was delicious! Its beautiful and smells great! I substituted a potato instead of the cream to make it more healthy.

    - Lyuba

  8. Looks amazing and with it being colder, it is definitely on my top things to make! We eat lots of soup in the winter months – it so warming and comforting. This looks like a good one with chicken so it will be nice and filling at the same time!

    - Teri

  9. This is the perfect soup for the cold and flue season! Garlic is a natural antibiotic and helps build the immune system…what a great way to eat healthy and enjoy it!!….Thanks so much!!

    - Jeanne

  10. AMAZING, my oh my what a beeeeautiful soup. Turned out perfect, will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Nicole

  11. Wow, this looks amazing! I just started my own blog and yours has provided much inspiration!

    - Meghan

  12. Roasted whole garlic has such a wonderful sweet taste. This will be an oven meal with some asparagus–roast it too. I have a few baby artichokes left from an ATL market and they are good too with this chicken.

    - ATL Cook

  13. Whoa! Sounds delish! My dad & I both love adding garlic to everything. Will have to make this for him.

    - Becky

  14. I love garlic and hate onions, I made this without onions and it was delicious, although likely less substantial. It would make a perfect sauce over pasta, it was nice and thick. Also, instead of using a blender, I used a stick blender to liquefy it in the same pot. Less mess.

    - Angie

  15. I love, love, love garlic – but anytime I make something with a lot of it, people comment for days afterward about the smell of garlic emanating from me. Did anybody say anything to you about a garlic odor the next day or the day after?

    - Michelle K

  16. My fiance would love this!!

    - Michelle

  17. Oh my goodness – this sounds amazing, I adore roasted garlic (or…any garlic)!

    - Mrs. Jen B

  18. Oh this sounds wonderful. I’m also a giant fan of roasted garlic but never thought of making soup where it was the star player. Bookmarking!

    - Michelle

  19. yum–I love roasted garlic! I just made your pesto white bean soup and froze it for next week..stole a few bites though and it was so good!

    - natalie (the sweets life)

  20. This really looks wonderful and like the perfect comfort food. I make a ton of soups, so I’m going to put it on my list for the next time that I have some extra shredded chicken!

    - Carrie

  21. Wow, 44 cloves of garlic, woohoo! This looks really yummy and perfect this week as the weather cools back down (to normal, boo).

    - Megan

  22. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try!

    - Natalie