Fresh Thyme and Green Garlic Soup

03 April

1 bunch of green garlic, trimmed, save the greens for a stock
1 bunch fresh thyme, about 12 sprigs, or 4 fresh sage leaves, or 3 fresh tarragon leaves, or 1 small bunch of fresh marjoram, or 1 large bunch parsley
1 quart chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices stale, or lightly toasted, French bread, plus extra for passing around

1. Tie the thyme or other herbs into a small bundle and put them into a 4-quart pot with the garlic. Pour in the stock, cover the pot, and bring the soup to a slow simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until the garlic is very soft and can be crushed against the inside of the pot.
2. Strain through the fine disk of a food mill, or puree in a blender and push it through a medium-thresh strainer with the back of a soup ladle. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place a slice of stale bread in each bowl and pour the soup over it. You can top each bowl with a spoonful of olive oil. Pass toasted slices of French bread brushed with olive oil in a basket.

Serves 4