Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

This Valentine’s Day, Become Smitten with Your Tiny Kitchen

This week we’ve looked at a couple teeny-tiny kitchens: Kitchoo’s modular, plug-and-play kitchen as well as Boston’s micro-unit mockup with its wisp of a prep area. Many of us who cook regularly might see these micro-kitchens and think them suitable for removing takeout from plastic bags, but little else. Well, Deb Perelman might have something to say about that.

Perelman is the brains and brawn behind, Smitten Kitchen, who is, “Fearless[ly] cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City.” From her 42 sq ft half-galley, single countered, tiny oven-ed, minimally-equipped kitchen, she whips out dishes like pancetta, white bean and chard pot pies and swiss chard and sweet potato gratin. She has hundreds of recipes spanning many different categories–from breakfast, dessert, veggie and meat. She also has a book.

Perelman is not a trained chef, but rather someone who loves to cook and creatively works within the contraints of her home’s kitchen.

We thought in honor of Valentine’s Day we’d offer Perelman’s “44-Clove Garlic Soup,” a simple soup recipe from her “budget” collection made of ingredients most cooks will have on hand. We thought it was a recipe that, after consumed, says to your beloved “I’ll love you no matter what.”


Serves 4

  • 26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sliced onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 18 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 4 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

Do ahead: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Photo credit: Deb Perelman