Friday, December 11th I prepared vegetarian Garlic Potato Soup for my Cordata demo. It was all organic, and all the ingredients were local except for the no-chicken broth and the butter! It was a really fantastic soup, and the samples were gone before I knew it. If you love garlic, then this is the soup for you!
It took me about two hours to complete the recipe, including cooking time. I imagine in your own kitchen you could shave some time off of that – I am still getting used to cooking in our kitchen here at the Co-op and when I make the soup this weekend at home I believe I can get it down to an hour and a half total time. I plan on making a non-vegetarian version with smoked bacon as garnish – my mouth is watering already!
The recipe used a technique with garlic that I hadn’t used before – you prepare two heads of garlic like you were going to roast them, but you put them whole into the soup instead to cook. Before you puree the soup, you pull out the garlic heads and squish the soft garlic cloves out and mash them into a paste that you add back into the soup – it made for a delicious, intense garlic flavor that I may try in other recipes.
I chose to make this a pretty thick soup, but you should have plenty of broth to make yours a little more soupy if that is your preference. This soup can be vegetarian or not, and if you buy (or make) a chicken or veggie broth that is GF, then it is also a GF dish (the Imagine No-Chicken broth I used in my demo is wheat free, but not certified gluten-free).
Garlic Potato Soup
Recipe source – Cook’s Illustrated
- 3 T unsalted butter
- 1 medium leek, white and green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped small (about 1 cup)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1T)
- 2 heads garlic, rinsed, papery skins removed and top third of heads cut off and discarded
- 6-7 c low-sodium chicken broth, or un-chicken broth (start with 6 cups)
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes
- 1 pound Red Bliss potatoes
- 1/2 c heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
- 1 1/2 t minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 c minced fresh chives
- 3 T olive oil
- 6 medium garlic cloves, sliced lengthwise
- sea salt
- Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add leeks and cook until soft (do not brown), 5 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic heads, broth, bay leaves, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; partially cover pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is very tender when pierced with tip of knife, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Add potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Discard bay leaves. Remove garlic heads; using tongs or paper towels, squeeze garlic heads at root end until cloves slip out of their skins. Using fork, mash garlic to smooth paste in bowl.
- Stir cream, thyme, and half of mashed garlic into soup; heat soup until hot, about 2 minutes. Taste soup; add remaining garlic paste if desired.
- Using immersion blender, process soup until creamy, with some potato chunks remaining. Alternatively, transfer 1 1/2 cups potatoes and 1 cup broth to blender or food processor and process until smooth. (Process more potatoes for thicker consistency.)
- Return puree to pot and stir to combine, adjusting consistency with more broth if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve, sprinkling each portion with chives and garlic chips.
For Garlic Chips
- Heat oil and garlic in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning frequently, until light golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to plate lined with paper towels; discard oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Two Spuds Are Better Than One: This Garlic-Potato Soup uses both Russet and Red Bliss potatoes for ultimate potato flavor and texture. Peeled starchy Russet potatoes break down during cooking to thicken the soup, while unpeeled Red Bliss potatoes give the soup a rustic, chunky texture and rich potato flavor.