- 1 pound elephant garlic, peeled
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 6 cups organic vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
- 2 leeks, white part only, roughly chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream
For the soup, heat oven to 350°. In a glass baking dish place the peeled garlic, 1 cup of vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake until the garlic is tender, about 1 hour.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium stockpot. Add the leeks, onions, fennel, bay leaf and chile pepper flakes; cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the remaining vegetable stock, vinegar and the cooked garlic with all the juices. Gently simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Remove and toss the bay leaf. Purée the soup with a hand blender, then pour the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings to taste.
*Try this with the Dungeness Apple Crab Salad recipe
To serve, pour ¾ cup of the soup into a bowl and top with ¼ cup of the crab and apple salad. Enjoy!
Recipe created by Chef Bradley Ogden
About this recipe
Growing up, working in and making the Central Coast home has its perks, especially in the form of culinary delights. In my former career, I had an incredible opportunity to work with James Beard Award–winning Chef Bradley Ogden.
All it took was a single tasting of his creations and boom! I became a forever fan of his work. Not only was he beyond talented in the kitchen, but he was extremely gracious. Some of our favorite epicurean adventures include the countless times Chef Ogden created special, on-a-whim dishes for my husband and me when we would visit him at work.
At one event, Chef Ogden created a variation of this soup and later gifted me a copy of his holiday-inspired cookbook Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden, which includes this recipe. I have since made the soup so many times for friends and family that I now know the recipe by heart and couldn’t imagine a holiday season without it.
Elephant garlic, which is not actually garlic but instead a member of the leek family, can be found at many markets near the onion section. As for the fresh Dungeness crab, I love picking up a small container from the folks at Pier 46 Seafood Co. in Templeton.
For the Addison family, holiday vacations are spent camping with friends in the desert near the Mexican border. This dish, which can easily be made in advance, has graced our (plastic folding) table on many camping adventures and always leaves nearby campers a wee bit jealous. Don’t get me wrong: Hot dogs are classically and traditionally delicious. But hot Elephant Garlic Soup with the zesty and fresh Dungeness Crab and Apple Salad on a cold evening sitting around a campfire? Now that is hard to pass up.