[Photograph: Gentl & Hyers]

Unless you've eaten garlic soup, it can be challenging to imagine how a huge handful of sliced cloves simmered in water for fifteen minutes could possibly be worth writing about. I certainly questioned the idea before making David Tanis's version in his new cookbook, One Good Dish. But those fifteen minutes on the stove are transformational—the garlic mellows and sweetens, infusing the water with profound savoriness. A little salt, olive oil, and sage don't hurt either. Tanis calls it "save your life" good; I'm not sure if it'll go that far, but the recipe will certainly save a harried dinnertime.

Why I picked this recipe: Simple warm soups are always welcome during the winter.

What worked: This bare-bones soup was indeed easy, comforting, and tasted far more complex than its short ingredient list predicted.

What didn't: I didn't think it was totally necessary to transfer some of the soup to a separate skillet to poach the eggs.

Suggested tweaks: If you wanted to bulk up the soup a little more, consider adding diced carrots or zucchini, or a cup or so of frozen peas. You could also stir the eggs directly into the soup for a creamier, egg-drop effect.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of One Good Dish to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.


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