Garlic Soup with Mushrooms and Chive Oil

Don’t be scared off by the amount of garlic in this soup. Yes, the number of cloves is way up there, somewhere around 40, but the resulting flavor is smooth, mellow garlic without any bite. The texture is just as enticing, creamy and rich without any cream or coconut milk added.

Organosulfur compounds that show potential for preventing cancer can be found in garlic and leeks. Both of these sulfur-rich veggies are swirling around in this delicious soup, plus a bright-green drizzle of chive oil.

Cooking alliums does break down the sulfur compounds somewhat, making them less potent, but slicing garlic and onions at least ten minutes before cooking makes them more resistant to heat. Keep this in mind when you begin prepping the recipe.

While the garlic flavor in this soup is mellow, the chive oil has a real kick. A little bit of this intensely aromatic oil goes a long way. Drizzle some in this soup and use the rest throughout the week for sautéing, making salad dressing and drizzling over just about anything.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 1 1/2 hours



  • 2 bunches of chives, roughly chopped (about 1.5 ounces/42 g)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (240 ml)
  • 3 whole heads of garlic
  • 15 raw cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced in half
  • 12 to 16 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced (340 to 450 g)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 g)
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (820 ml)
  • Salt and pepper


In a blender, purée the chives with the olive oil until the chives are very finely chopped and the consistency of the oil is fairly smooth. Be patient, this will take several minutes.

In two batches, strain the oil through a fine sieve. Let the oil drip out on its own; don’t push down on the solids or the chive oil will be cloudy. Discard the solids. Add a pinch of salt to the oil. Set aside. (The oil will keep for at least a week in the fridge.)

Preheat oven to 400 °F (204 °C).

Peel off any loose layers of white skin on the three heads of garlic then slice the top off to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the heads. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap each head in foil or parchment paper (tie parchment up with a string) or put them in a tightly covered baking dish.

Put the heads of garlic in the oven and roast until the cloves are tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 35 minutes. When the garlic has cooled, squeeze the roasted cloves into a small bowl.

Spread the mushrooms out on a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Put the pan of mushrooms in the oven at the same time as the heads of garlic, roasting until soft, about 20 minutes. Stir the mushrooms occasionally.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leek and cook until soft.

Add the roasted garlic and raw garlic cloves and sauté for a few minutes.

Add chicken stock. Cover and simmer until the raw garlic cloves are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth.

Heap mushrooms in the middle of each soup bowl and drizzle in chive oil.

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47 thoughts on “Garlic Soup with Mushrooms and Chive Oil”

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  1. This looks good, but scary with all that garlic. LOL
    I want to make some of that chive oil now and let the drizzling begin.

    1. Cooking tip using raw onions: After cutting an onion (mincing, dicing, slicing) an onion to serve raw as a condiment, in a salad, or any other dish. Place the cut onion into a mesh strainer (of appropriate size) and rinse the onion under cold water. This will take the “edge” of onion while still retaining its fresh texture. Unless of course the flavor of strong raw onion is a flavor you want.

      Hat tip to Jacques Pepin.

    2. I would probably roast all the garlic. When roasted until very soft it loses its bite and becomes mild and creamy, almost the consistency of peanut butter. Perfect for blending into soup.

  2. Scared of garlic?! That’s like being scared of too much bacon in my book… Can’t happen!

    1. I never get tired of it either, but if you eat enough of it, the smell comes out of your skin, and people around you may think there is such a thing as too much garlic…

  3. I love garlic, but had never thought of combining roasted with raw in this way – thanks! 🙂

  4. Re-read this article… NO “cloves” in the soup.
    Other than that, I’ve been making this soup fpr a few years now… Fantastic! Very mellow. Only in the cooking does is smell strongly of garlic.

  5. I wish I could make this today! It will have to wait until another.

  6. I didn’t have any fear of the amount of garlic when I saw it. I find myself using excessive amounts of garlic and butter in some of my recipes, but that’s what makes them good. Like my mom says if it doesn’t taste right add more garlic or butter. Okay so she doesn’t actually say that but it’s still valid. Nice recipe Mark, I read daily and love your posts.

  7. Garlic has to be my favourite food. This soup looks delicious.

  8. About 20-25 years ago, way back when I was at university, I used to make a garlic soup that used 20 cloves of garlic for 2 people… the recipe description said it was “surprisingly subtle considering the amount of garlic”…

    Actually it was delicious, and it was hubby and my favourite snack after a night at the bar…. very quick to make too!
    I must look it up and make it again.

  9. I’m curious: why only roast some of the garlic, and simmer the rest?

  10. Garlic is a superfood which has a myriad proven health benefits and I cook with it whenever I can wheedle it into a recipe.

    And here’s another, newly discoved benefit: a new study has shown that garlic is more effective than its pharma counterpart in combatting lead toxicity:

    This is extremely important health-related news, considering the amount of heavy metals we are bombarded with daily, so do take note and eat your garlic!

  11. I tried it but wasn’t tasty for my liking. I will probably try another variation of the same recipe. maybe a little less garlic this time

  12. Just made this soup, an wow – so good. I added some spinach from the garden at the very end at the bottom of the bowl just to give it a little more body with the mushrooms. This is a keeper and I am sure this will be come a favorite in my house.

  13. Now that I have made and eaten an entire batch of this soup (not in one sitting), I find it’s greatly improved with more salt than the recipe calls for and a good amount of heavy cream. Without, it’s surprisingly bland, but with a pretty strong raw garlic bite that wasn’t very enjoyable. I started adding cream while heating individual servings on the stove, along with Himalayan pink salt. So if you do dairy, I recommend trying that. Much smoother and richer.

  14. Disclaimer: my husband asked me never to make this again because I stank so bad after eating it! Not flattering. I would still recommend it though – delicious!