Recipe Spotlight

This 30-Minute Soup Recipe Uses a Whopping 17 Cloves of Garlic

Cooking the garlic three different ways practically transforms it into three different ingredients.

Published Mar. 2, 2023.

When it comes to weeknight meals, the ideal trifecta is quick, simple, and delicious. With this Creamy Chickpea, Broccoli Rabe, and Garlic Soup recipe, you get all three.

This dish was developed for our Five-Ingredient Dinners cookbook, which is chock-full of fast, flavorful meals with short ingredient lists that use what you have on hand. 

The not-so-secret pantry ingredient in this recipe is garlic—a whopping 17 cloves.

Test Cook Carmen Dongo strategically treated the garlic in different ways, which affects and mellows its sharpness and practically transforms it into three entirely different ingredients. She broiled it, dry-toasted it still in its skin, and turned it into garlic chips to toss with lemon zest and chives for garnish.

Youll be amazed at how balanced and deep the flavor is in such a simple recipe. And if youre hesitant to peel 17 cloves of garlic, dont be. Weve got six ways to peel garlic in record time.

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Creamy Chickpea, Broccoli Rabe, and Garlic Soup

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 17 garlic cloves (1 minced, 8 sliced, 8 unpeeled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, undrained

1. Adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss broccoli rabe with 2 tablespoons oil, minced garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt, then spread in even layer over prepared sheet. Broil until exposed leaves are well browned, about 2 minutes. Toss to expose unbrowned leaves then return sheet to oven and broil until most leaves are well browned and stalks are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; set aside.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil and sliced garlic in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly once garlic starts to sizzle. Cook until garlic is light golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to bowl and toss with lemon zest and 1 teaspoon chives. Set aside.

3. Carefully wipe out saucepan. Toast unpeeled garlic in now-empty saucepan over medium heat until skins are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from saucepan and let cool. Peel garlic then return to now-empty saucepan along with chickpeas and their liquid, 2½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to simmer and cook over medium-low heat until chickpeas begin to break down, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Working in batches, process soup in blender until smooth, about 2 minutes. Return soup to again-empty saucepan, stir in broccoli rabe, and adjust consistency with extra hot water as needed. Cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining chives and lemon juice. Serve with garlic chips.

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