Known as the “Garlic Guru” of Australia, Roger Schmitke was the first person to grow a commercial crop of garlic in South Australia.
“Garlic was considered a strange crop to grow in the district when I first started producing it. Firstly, I had the wrong surname — Schmitke is German, not Italian,” he says.
“Secondly, the area is prominently citrus and wine, so many people thought I was wasting my time. I would go into Waikerie with a pallet of 50 cartons of garlic to be transported to Adelaide. A local came up to me on the ferry one day and questioned me about one pallet of garlic a week as he had a full truckload of tomatoes. When I told him my one pallet was worth more than his truckload he never questioned me about my one pallet again.”
More than 30 years later, Roger is producing almost 40 tonnes of garlic annually on his property near Taylorville in the Riverland. Please try and Roger’s garlic soup!
Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Gently cook the garlic with the spring onions for a few minutes until softened. Mix in the flour and cook to form a roux.
Heat the chicken stock and pour over roux, whisking to keep the mixture smooth. Add the white wine and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, whisk in the combined egg yolks and lemon juice. Return to the heat and cook, stirring all the time, for a few minutes. Do not allow to boil.
Serve sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and enjoy.
Tips from the author
Soup can be frozen for up to 4 weeks - that way you can reach for it whenever you feel like some!
Source: Lousie FitzRoy "From Paddock to Plate" book.