Sopa de ajo (Mexican garlic soup)

This Mexican-style sweet roasted garlic soup Sopa de Ajo is fast, fabulous and very rich. Vegetarian (and can be vegan with the cheese left out!)

(prep. 10 minutes, cooking 30 minutes)
(Source– Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)

Ingredients (for 4):

110 ml (½ cup) fruity olive oil

a couple of slices of bread to make croutons from (I prefer sour dough but anything will work)

1 large head of garlic, peeled, chopped into 1/8 pieces (the size you wouldn’t mind eating in a spoonful of the divine broth)

1.12 litrs (5 cups) of vegetable broth (Swiss Marigold bullion powder is recommended, 4 tsp per litre as in directions)
salt to taste (bullion has salt so add salt after it is nearly ready to serve)

1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice

60g (3 ounces) of aged feta or manchego (aged sheep or goat cheese that will melt when warmed)

1 large, ripe round tomato, cored, seeded and cut into small dice

4 green onions, lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled in the oven until soft, then chopped

canned chipotle peppers (optional; these can be purchased at Cool Chili Company in London and in most stores in the US where there is a Mexican population)

Steps

1)    heat olive oil in a small heavy pot over medium low, add garlic and cook very slowly until soft and golden (15 minutes or so)
2)    strain the garlic and put oil into jar (can be used to make croutons; optional step)
3)    put garlic back in pan and cover with broth (bullion) and simmer 30 minutes
4)    croutons – cube bread, brush with olive oil and bake in oven (325 degrees until brown; watch carefully so they don’t burn)
5)    fill bowls with the cheese, avocado, etc and ladle broth and top with croutons or coriander leaves and/or a couple of slices of a chipotle chili (if you have managed to find them whole in a can in adobo sauce)

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