January 30, 2013

Garlic Potato Soup

And here's the potato (actually garlic potato) soup I made to fill the bread bowls. This soup has a lot of garlic flavor, but it's cooked so it doesn't linger. Basically this is just a variation of the classic potato leek soup.

Garlic Potato Soup

from The Flour Sack

3 Tbsp. butter
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, cleaned, and chopped small
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 whole garlic cloves, rinsed, outer papery skins removed, top third of head cut off and discarded
6 c. water or vegetable broth
3 bay leaves
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1/2 c. cream
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 c. minced fresh chives

Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until soft (do not brown), about 5-8 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add water (or broth, if using), bay leaves, garlic heads, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of 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 the tip of a knife, 30-40 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Discard bay leaves. Remove garlic heads. Using tongs or paper towels, squeeze heads at root end until cloves slip out of their skins. Using a fork, mash garlic to a smooth paste in a small bowl.

Stir cream, thyme, and the mashed garlic paste into the soup. Taste soup add additional salt and pepper as needed. Using an immersion blender, process soup until creamy, with some potato chunks remaining. Adjust consistency with more water, if necessary. Serve sprinkled with fresh chives.

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