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44-Clove Garlic (and Chicken) Soup

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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. :)


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44-clove garlic (and chicken) soup

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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 80 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A delicious creamy garlic soup recipe filled with the most amazing subtle flavor.


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.


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.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit and Smitten Kitchen


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.

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27 comments on “44-Clove Garlic (and Chicken) Soup”

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

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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

  7. My fiance would love this!!

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. 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!!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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 :)

  18. There are many natural antibiotics that you can utilize. For example, grapeseed extract is a good natural anti-microbial.:*;”;


  19. 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!!!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!!

  23. I didn’t realize this was such an old post!! I’m still commenting because I just made it and I love it. I will disagree and say that it IS very garlicky, but I love that. It may have been because I had mutant cloves that were the size of two and I may have tossed in a few more cloves, though :)

    I added chicken, but I didn’t have any already cooked, so I used a can of chicken. It worked out great. I also didn’t have heavy cream, but I did have half and half. It may not have been as thick, but I think it worked fine.

    I also used my immersion blender instead of a conventional blender. I can’t wait to make it again!!

  24. I made this during the superbowl. I added potatos and chicken. It smells and tastes incredible.