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Corsican garlic soup

(Minestra incu l'agliu)

Pale, tender, sweet, intensely garlic, and a little goatish, this soup is quick to make and wonderfully filling. Be sure to use really good crusty peasant bread in the bottom of the soup bowl as it imparts important flavor and texture to the dish. For dessert? Maybe some breath mints.... Serve hot to 4 people as a meal with bread, sausages, and cheese on the side. Great with Corsican wine too.

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf (or two dried)
  • 4 thick slices of crusty peasant bread (sourdough is good)
  • salt, to taste

Garnish: hard goat cheese (like the Italian Caprum), finely grated

1. After preparing the potatoes and garlic, heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the cubes, and toss them for several minutes to get a roasted fragrance.

2. Pour the water into the saucepan, stir in the bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt to taste.

3. When ready to serve, place the slices of bread in the bottom of flat soup plates and ladle the soup over each. Sprinkle each thickly with the grated cheese.