Garlic Soup – Julia Child’s Aigo Bouido Recipe

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This classic French garlic soup is so comforting and tasty. A Julia Child classic that grabbed my heart the first time I saw the recipe. It is just a simple vegetable soup, but is very hearty, comforting, and delicious. Yes, it has the fancy French name of  Aigo Bouido, but I call it Julia Child’s Garlic Soup.

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.

I have been reading Julia Child’s book My Life In France which details much of the time before she became a famous television chef and I was inspired to cook. In the book, Julia describes, in detail, a garlic soup called Aigo Boido and I just knew that I had to make it. Just as I suspected, it is so good. This soup will forever be a part of my cooking arsenal and I am going to share it with you today. So, I am going to set aside our normal series for a moment and take time to make and share this spectacular garlic soup recipe.

What Is Aigo Bouido?

The literal translation of the recipe name 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 made our house smell spectacular and really was a treat.

Mayonnaise in Garlic Soup?

Part of this recipe includes making a homemade mayonnaise and then ladling the garlic broth into it. I had not made a soup in this manner before, but it really kind of 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 thought of making it, don’t worry. It is good and worth it.

What Herbs to Use For This Garlic Soup

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 that are used. My advice would be to try this recipe as-is but then add and remove 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. It made our house smell great and the flavor was great in the garlic broth.

Also, if you can, use fresh ingredients. It will make a difference.

Toast as a Side Dish

The soup is great, but I do think it needs a crispy side to go along with it. Serve it with a 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 a nice accompanyment to the recipe and while I do not include it here, I suggest you add some crispy startch, like toast, as a side to this soup.

Julia Child Is Inspiring

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. It seems like she had an openness and curiosity about the world that 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 44-year-old dude who is 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.

There are other foodie authors I find inspiring and Julia Child is now among them. I love Anthony Bourdain, as he opened up worlds of unique and interesting cuisines to me, as well as 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. Now, I love Julia for her passion for French cooking and her painstaking 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. Now, I want to buy her cookbooks and watch her show. We will see where this takes me. The Julia Child Foundation is probably where I will take my next steps.

Several cloves of unpeeled garlic sitting on a cutting board.

Peeled Garlic in a glass bowl. These cloves of garlic were briefly blanched and then peeled. On the side, there is some thyme and fresh parsley.

Garlic and herbs boiling in a pot.

Garlic and herbs sitting in a strainer. This is the leftovers from sending the soup broth through the strainer, per the directions.

Garlic Soup Tips Summary

  • 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.

Aigo Bouido Recipe in a bowl on a picnic table. There is toasted bread on the side with herbs showing.

Products I Used in this Recipe

  1. Fine Strainer
  2. Soup Pot

Did You Make This Garlic Soup?

If you liked this recipe, you could do me a real solid by taking some time to let me know how it went in the comment section below and by sharing this recipe on Pinterest. I always appreciate hearing from you.  If you want to see more from me, make sure to subscribe to get updates via email.

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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

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: French

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Bring some water to a boil
  2. Add garlic for 30 seconds.
  3. Run under cold water
  4. Remove skin
  5. Add 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.
  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

Notes

Serve with a toasted French Bread

Keywords: garlic soup

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth Neels
    October 23, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Oh, I so love Julia!! I can totally see why you picked this recipe! I have garlic hanging in my basement that is destined for this soup! Thanks for the inspiration, Ben!

    • Reply
      Ben
      October 23, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      I hope you love it as much as I do. Julia for the win, right?

  • Reply
    Lauren Vavala
    October 23, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    What an interesting recipe! That’s a lot of garlic, but I bet it’s just delicious! My fiance might actually eat this soup being the garlic lover that he is (he tells me regularly that soup isn’t real food haha!).

    • Reply
      Ben
      October 24, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      It is a lot of garlic, but it really isn’t as potent or overpowering as you might think. Still… I don’t know if I would go to the dentist or to kiss my wife right after eating it (unless I shared with them first).

  • Reply
    Valentina
    October 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I love Julia and I just might love garlic even more. This sounds like an interesting soup and it’s now on my fall/winter cooking list. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Stef
    October 23, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve always wanted to read her book but never have. I LOVE all things garlic and can’t wait to try this soup!

  • Reply
    Krissy Allori
    October 23, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    I love the ingredients you combined to make this! YUM!

  • Reply
    Tisha
    October 23, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Love Julia Child!!! This recipe sounds incredible!

  • Reply
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    October 28, 2018 at 4:44 pm

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  • Reply
    Debbie
    October 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    What an interesting soup, this is something I totally would try. I could imagine some nice crusty bread dipped in it is fabulous.

  • Reply
    Jenni
    October 17, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    I have never made this soup before now, but I have enjoyed it at a fancy restaurant! After finding this recipe I really wanted to give it a try. It was so easy and so delicious! I will be making this all the time now!

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