Save Your Life Garlic Soup From 'One Good Dish'

Save Your Life Garlic Soup
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-drog effect.

Reprinted with permission from One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal by David Tanis. Copyright 2013. Published by Artisan Books. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 2 heads garlic, preferably new-crop, separated into cloves (about 16 medium cloves) and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices bread, lightly toasted
  • Chopped parsley, scallions, or chives


  1. Slice or roughly chop the garlic cloves. Warm the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and sage and let sizzle a bit without browning, about 2 minutes. Season with about 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pep-per. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a brisk simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  2. Ladle about an inch of the soup into a skillet and bring to a brisk simmer over medium heat. Carefully crack the eggs into the pan and poach for about 3 minutes.

  3. To serve, place a slice of toast in each soup bowl and top with a poached egg. Ladle the soup over the eggs and sprinkle with a little parsley.