I had an email from Sainsbury’s – would I like to try some black garlic? Never heard of it, but too curious to resist an offer like that – it’s aged white garlic and according to the pack has a ‘molasses-balsamic flavour’.
That sweetness and mellowness would go well with my go-to soup recipe – roasted peppers, red onions, tomatoes and lots of garlic – I thought.
The black garlic looks like it’s been smoked on the outside but the cloves inside look and feel like squishy liquorice – there’s a really mild garlic smell, like it’s been roasted, and a sticky sweetness to it. As a sugar-avoider, it’ll be a useful way for me to get some sweetness into tomato dishes.
Anyway, the soup – the simplest method I’ve found that works every time. It’s two stages, roast the veg then blend and add some stock.
So, either preheat the oven to about 170 deg C or set a slow cooker to high.
Chop peppers, tomatoes, red onion, celery and garlic into chunks – in whatever proportion you want/have. For this, I had two peppers, one onion, half a stick of celery four toms and three cloves of black garlic. Add a good slug of olive oil and season generously. Chilli, basil, oregano are all good things to add towards the end of the cooking time.
Put this into the oven for an hour or the slow cooker for two hours – until it’s swimming in a little bath of olive oily juices. In a rush, I’ve given it half an hour in a very hot oven – you get less juice but more charred flavour which is great too.
Pour this all into a blender and add a little hot stock to get it going. Gradually add more stock until you get to the consistency that you like. For me, it’s usually somewhere between 300ml and 500ml.
That’s it done, top with chilli oil, fresh herbs, parmesan.
It freezes well and I use up any leftovers as the base for a quick pasta sauce or reduce it for pizza topping.
The black garlic definitely added a darkly sweet depth to the flavour that went really well with red pepper – thinking about trying it in bread next…