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This French garlic soup is so comforting and tasty. A Julia Child classic that grabs my heart and warms my stomach. At first glance, it may seem like just vegetable soup, but it is much more than that. 

It is very hearty, comforting, and delicious. Also, not that I count calories, but it is low calorie. Yes, it has the fancy French name of Aigo Bouido, but I call it Julia Child’s Garlic Soup. Give it a try today!

Garlic Soup in a white bowl on a picnic table. On the side, there is a serving of cheesy toast and several fresh herbs for display.
Such a delicious Garlic Soup that is traditionally called Aigo Bouido.

🧄 What makes this recipe special?

The literal translation of the Aigo Bouido recipe is “boiled water” in Provencal. There is, however, much more to this recipe in terms of flavor and comfort. As indicated in the title of this post, we have garlic in this soup, but we also have some delicious herbs that really bring something special to the mix. 

The base of it is just boiled garlic and herbs. A very simple but garlic-heavy broth. It makes our house smell spectacular and really is a treat.

If you are looking for other interesting soups, give this Caldo De Queso soup recipe a try or this Knoephla Soup recipe. This recipe would pair fantastically with this Baked Walleye with White Wine Sauce. Whatever you make, make sure to treat yourself.

🌿 Ingredients

Garlic is this dish’s star, but a few more ingredients pull this together. 

  • Cloves garlic
  • Water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cloves
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Parsley
  • Egg yolks
  • Olive Oil (NOT Extra Virgin) or neutral flavored oil.

See the recipe card for quantities.

For the herbs, I suggest fresh, but also give quantities for dry herbs. This is such a lovely dish that it deserves fresh stuff when you can.

We also make our own mayonnaise that goes with this. You can use store-bought. 

🍲 Instructions

The basic instructions are to simmer the heck out of a bunch of garlic and herbs. Then, add it to mayonnaise. The herbs and garlic mix well with the broth to make an excellent, creamy French dish.

This recipe includes making homemade mayonnaise and then ladling the garlic broth. I had not made a soup in this manner before, but it makes sense when you taste it. 

It almost gives it a creamed soup richness and texture to it, but with no dairy. So, if the idea of using mayo in this garlic soup gives you second thoughts about making it, don’t worry. It is good and worth it.

Process for making garlic soup.
Blanch the garlic to easily remove the shell. Simmer garlic with herbs for half hour. Strain into a mixture of broth and freshly made mayonnaise.

The soup is great, but I do think it needs a crispy side to go along with it. Serve it with toasted bread or maybe even croutons. I used my homemade bread and put it in my toaster oven with butter and parmesan cheese for a few minutes. 

It really gave an excellent accompaniment to the recipe, and while I do not include it here, I suggest you add some crispy starch, like toast, as a side to this soup.

🤷 Substitutions and variations

While I mostly stay true to the original recipe, I think there is some wiggle room with this. The broth will take on the profile of garlic and the herbs used. 

I advise trying this recipe as-is but then adding and removing your herbs as you see fit. The one spice that I thought might not fit well, but the recipe calls for, is cloves. 

To my surprise, it really added quite a bit of awesome to the recipe. The flavor is great and complements this soup well.

  • Fresh Herbs – I use fresh herbs, but I also provide some measurements for dry herbs. 
  • Amount and Type of Herbs – If you don’t like a specific herb, leave it out! If you want more of another, bring it in!
  • Mayonnaise – This uses homemade mayonnaise, but you can also use store-bought mayo.

📦 Storage

This recipe is best served fresh. It would keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but I wouldn’t go much past that. 

🎓 History tidbit

I picked up this book about Julia Child not knowing what to expect, and I love her story. She didn’t even graduate from cooking school until she was in her late 30s. Her first book was published when she was 49. 

She seemed to have an openness and curiosity about the world I admire. It is never too late to follow one’s dreams, passions and to live life to the fullest. That is what I get from Julia Child.

Here I am… a middle-aged guy still learning, trying to follow my dreams and passions. Just like Julia Child seemed to continue to do throughout her life. And she did it so well.

I find other foodie authors inspiring, and Julia Child is now among them. I love Anthony Bourdain, as he opened worlds of unique and exciting cuisines to me and the inner workings of the professional kitchen.

I love Jim Harrison, as he writes about food and eating in such a beautiful and unapologetically indulgent way. Harrison is probably best known for writing Legends of the Fall, but also writes some stunning food stories

I love Julia for her passion for French cooking and meticulous research in making great French food for Americans. I love her for this soup.

I have this suspicion that my love might go beyond this soup. Last Christmas, my wife gifted me Julia Child’s cookbooks. I have not been disappointed. The Julia Child Foundation is probably where I will take my next steps.


Is Garlic Soup good for you?

There isn’t much in a basic vegetable broth that is bad for you. This recipe does call for Olive Oil Mayo, so there is some fat in it.

Is Garlic Soup vegetarian? 

Yes, garlic soup is vegetarian.

Aigo Bouido Recipe in a bowl on a picnic table. There is toasted bread on the side with herbs showing.
A comforting classic in this Garlic Soup.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • Since this recipe has so few ingredients, the ingredients you use are important. Find nice looking herbs and garlic for the recipe.
  • If you don’t want to make fresh mayo, you could substitute 1/4 to 1/3 cup store-bought mayo into this recipe, although I have not tested it.
  • Serve with a nice toast or bread as a side dish.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Garlic Soup recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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Garlic Soup in a white bowl on a picnic table. On the side, there is a serving of cheesy toast and several fresh herbs for display.

Garlic Soup – Julia Child’s Aigo Bouido Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: French
Save Recipe


This Aigo Bouido, or garlic soup, is a Julia Child classic. While it is so simple, it is restorative and so comforting.


  • 16 Cloves garlic
  • 2 Quarts Of Water
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 Sage leaves, chopped or ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 4 Sprigs Parsley or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil (NOT Extra Virgin)


  1. Bring some water to a boil
  2. Add unpeeled garlic for 30 seconds.
  3. Run under cold water
  4. Remove garlic skin
  5. Add peeled garlic and all ingredients EXCEPT egg yolks and olive oil to pot.
  6. Bring to a light boil for 30 minutes
  7. While water is boiling, add egg yolks to large bowl that will eventually hold soup
  8. Whisk
  9. Slowly add olive oil to bowl a few drops at a time and vigorously whisk (or use mixer) until it is mayonnaise.
  10. After soup has boiled for 30 minutes, dish one ladle into mayonnaise and mix.
  11. Using strainer, strain broth into the bowl containing the soup/mayo mixture.
  12. Feel free to press and squeeze garlic a bit to get some of the extra juices out.
  13. Ladle into serving bowl
  14. Garnish with garlic/cheese toast, crispy French bread, parmesan cheese.
  15. Serve


Serve with a toasted French Bread


  • Serving Size: 1/4 SOUP
  • Calories: 191 Calories
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 1181 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 138 mg

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    1. EVOO is more finicky when making mayo. It can be harder to emulsify (turn into mayo). Some say it has a bitter taste. You can make it with EVOO, but it becomes a bit more of a crapshoot on taste/texture and I definitely wouldn’t recommend using it if you are using a hand blender or stand blender.

    2. Made mine with EVOO and I agree…makes it bitter. You will end up having to compensate with a sweetener. Love Julia, very tasty soup!

    3. But Julia doesn’t peel her garlic, right. I’ve made this before and just sieve the soup to get the skins. Delicious recipe

    4. She does. I just checked her recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her instructions read “Drop garlic cloves in boiling water and boil 30 seconds. Drain, run cold water over them, and peel.”

    1. I have not heard from anyone that has, but it would be interesting to try, though. I think my big concern is if it would incorporate into the broth in the same way. I just don’t have enough experience with vegannaise in recipes. If you try it, let me know!

  1. Just delicious and such classic simplicity. I paid mind to the reviews regarding olive oil for the mayonnaise and used canola oil instead. Great soup but the broth sans mayonnaise is going to become the base for many recipes.

    1. Awesome. I love cooking and the more I do it, I tend to find the best flavors in the most simple recipes. I am so glad you liked it and I am sure Julia is, too! 🙂

  2. You need to watch Julia in her first show ‘The French Chef’ where she made this as a no fuss soup as part of the episode ‘Steak Dinner in Half an Hour’. She doesn’t peel the garlic, everything goes in the pot and at the end is strained into home made mayonnaise (tempered of course).

    1. I am going from the instructions in her book that the show is based on, but either way… I am good with it. 🙂

  3. This was an interesting and unexpectedly good recipe. Very filling for basically being a vegetable soup. Really good!

  4. So I’ve made this recipe 3x now. It’s good but I tweak it. I use chicken stock instead of straight water. I puree the herbs and garlic and don’t strain. I add extra herbs and garlic. I also add rough chopped kale which I don’t puree in. Mostly for texture because I don’t care for pureed soup as a rule. The flavor is really good. It’s really a surprising soup.