My first post-collegiate job was analyzing the soup category (specifically eating soups) for a well-known soup company (which you can probably guess at, but I’m still not going to confirm), and for the year and a half I was on the account, my personal love of soups blossomed into a full-blown obsession. The category was in a period of serious transition, as competitors all over the place were aiming to tempt shoppers with higher-end products with more exotic ingredients, and reading the plethora of varieties all day would make me invariably hungry. Unsurprisingly, when I spotted a discount soup cookbook at Borders one Black Friday a few years ago I snatched it up, grabbed a pad of Post-Its and started marking off recipes that particularly intrigued me, but it had been so long since either of us had cracked it open that the recipes for the most part had gone unmade.
When Michael told me this night that he was making garlic soup that night, I was expecting a bowl of broth packed with whole cloves and lots of paprika, a poached egg or two floating on top, and some bread to sop it all up. While most of those ingredients were being put to use when I got home, the end result was decidedly different: the absence of paprika and the addition of cilantro made this soup delicate and light, but still packed more than enough garlic and runny-yolk goodness to satisfy my craving for both. It was a good reminder to revisit that book–especially this week considering how wet and rainy it is outside–because few meals can pack so much flavor yet remain light enough that you’re not lethargic after dinner like a satisfying bowl of soup.