Oooooooh baby. This soup is OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. GOOOOOOD! It was shameful. As I ate this creamy, dreamy soup, I was a liberated woman. Pretty sure I ate it with my eyes closed about 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time I was oooo-ing and mmmm-ing and partway moaning with sheer ecstasy. Needless to say, our dinner conversation that night was quite lacking as I couldn’t quite get past the layers upon layers of garlic bliss that were happening in my mouth. At least I wasn’t the only one. Michael was in a child-like state of wonder as well. We were a sight to be seen at that dinner table.
Let me just tell you. This is THE potato soup to make. It is not just a potato soup. This WILL become your standard of a potato soup because NOTHING will surpass its glory. It’s depth of flavor. It is not just a potato soup with garlic. NO. It is not just a potato soup with some roasted garlic. In this soup, YOU “ROAST” TWO WHOLE HEADS OF GARLIC INTO THE BROTH and THEN SQUEEZE THE GARLIC INTO THE SOUP. After you’re done with all that business, you just throw in some cream and herbs and then sail away into Garlicland. Also, I should note that because this garlic is sort of roasted into the soup (without actually roasting), it is sweet and doesn’t hold the punch that a fresher bit of garlic would. IT’S PERFECT.
Dunk some good bread in this bad boy and you are set. I would highly recommend doubling this soup. Not because it doesn’t make enough… juuuust because you’ll keep craving more at odd times. Freeze this one and pull it out on a rough day. It will work wonders.
Garlic Potato Soup
Adapted from thefloursack.blogspot.com who adapted it from Cooks Illustrated. Congratulations you wonderful Cooks Illustrated people. You made the perfect soup.
1 small onion, finely diced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 whole garlic heads, rinsed, outer papery skins removed, and top third of heads cut off and discarded
6 cups vegetable broth
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp salt + quite a bit more to taste (not sure how much I really added…you’ll know when it’s right)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, skin-on, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lb red-skin potatoes, skin-on, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
shredded cheddar (optional topping)… if you really wanna get wild and crazy, add some good bacon. I’m sure it would be divine.
1. Melt butter into a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, 5-8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, bay leaves, garlic heads, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Partially cover pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic heads are very tender when pierced with a knife, 30-40 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.
2. Discard bay leaves. Remove heads of garlic. Carefully squeeze garlic heads at the root to get all the garlicky goodness of the cloves out. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the garlic into a paste.
3. Stir cream, thyme, and the mashed garlic paste into the soup. Taste soup and add additional salt and pepper. I added quite a bit, but I’m unsure of how much I added. You’ll know when it tastes right to you. Just trust yourself and your taste buds!
4. Use an immersion blender (or if you don’t have one, just blend it in batches in your food processor or blender) to process the soup until it’s creamy with some chunks of potato still in there.
5. Serve sprinkled with a good dose of chives. If you are anything like me, you’ll probably throw in some shredded cheese (any cheese would be delectable, but I used cheddar). I’m absolutely certain that this soup would reach even greater heights if bacon were added… but I didn’t think of that til afterwards. I guess it was for the best… but feel absolutely liberated to add some high-quality bacon in there to make things even richer.