- Slice the top off a BULB of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap it cosily in tin foil and pop it in a 170°C oven for 45 minutes. Your house will smell amazing.
- Make the bread bowl! Cut a circle in the top of a big boule of bread. Pull out the belly of the bread with your hands, following the shape of the loaf and leaving a thick bread lining. If you are anything like me, which I hope for your friends you are not, making a bread bowl will have you laughing and dancing round your kitchen like a lunatic. A bowl! Made of bread! I never knew it would make me feel this way. (And we haven't even got to the good bit yet.)
- When your garlics have cooled pop them out of their pouches.
- Fry some shallots in olive oil then add your garlic, some chopped potato and chicken stock and simmer for twenty to thirty minutes. Salt and pepper it. Whiz.
- Your bread bowl will take 15 minutes to crisp up in a 200°C oven.
- Do not serve in an ordinary bowl. There is a marvellous bready one in the oven. Go get it!
What did it taste like? The countryside! It's garlic, Jim, but not as we know it. It's mellow and sweet and savoury and moreish. The soup soaks the inside of your bread bowl and you scrape bits of bread from the sides as you go. It reminded me of sopping up gravy with a slice of white bread at the end of a Sunday roast. Anyone on a non-carb diet needs to take a serious look at the priorities in their life.
- Before roasting, peel off as much papery stuff as you can from your garlic without peeling the cloves themselves or breaking the bulb apart.
- For the bread bowl - hold your knife at a 45° angle to the bread to cut off the top.
- Serve the bowl on a big plate in case it decides to leak.
- Use the mie (the insides of the bread), to test your soup as it's simmering.
- Don't throw away your bread bowl at the end! If you haven't used it to dip into the soup, cut it in quarters and make a sandwich.