A hearty, fortifying garlic soup recipe made with roasted and sautéed garlic along with potatoes, shallots, and fresh herbs. Jump to recipe.
Home decor, especially kitchen appliances, can last a long time, so even though I was born after the heyday of burnt orange and pea green, the palette persisted well into my childhood. Even now, overly warm wood stains, yellow undertones, and dimly lit television shows all send me running for aesthetic cleansing. This may be why I have such difficulty embracing the hues of October. Besides the pervasive orange-ness of the season, to embrace all things squash or pumpkin is to admit defeat. For me, winter squash signals the end of the growing season, meaning everything from now until April is either a storage food or from someplace else.
Of course, the vibrant orange spreading across the tops of our neighborhood maples is gorgeous. Even so, I’ll be putting off squash season as long as I can. When the first frosty night hits, when scarves start making sense, then I’ll start roasting squash. For now, I’m savoring the last of the produce from our farm share, herbs from my backyard garden, and big bulbs of crisp local hardneck garlic.
Another seasonal situation, a family-wide fall cold, sent me into the kitchen for something fortifying, and this velvety, robust-but-not-overwhelming garlic soup was spot on. With one head roasted and the other slow-sautéed, the soup is nicely balanced. There’s also a shallot and a bouquet garni of herbs at work, making for an incredibly good bowl of fall soup. The recipe below serves four, but since the soup is even better the next day and reheats like a dream, consider making a double batch. Or, you could be, like, crazy on top of things, and freeze a batch for the Thanksgiving table. This light, flavorful soup would be a perfect Thanksgiving starter.
A hearty, fortifying garlic soup recipe made with roasted and sautéed garlic along with potatoes, shallots, and fresh herbs.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- 2 large heads hardneck garlic (12 – 15 cloves each), divided
- 1 large shallot , peeled and sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- 1 quart rich stock – chicken, beef, or vegetable
- 4 sprigs each fresh thyme and parsley , tied with twine
- 2 medium russet potatoes , cut into 1-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim root end off one head of garlic. Set cloves, trimmed side down, in a small, oven-proof ramekin. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Cover with foil, set on a rimmed baking sheet, and slide into oven. Roast garlic for about 15 minutes, or until garlic is soft, but not at all brown. Once garlic is done, carefully remove foil and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slide cloves out of their skins and reserve.
In a heavy bottomed 2- or 3-quart pot, heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Trim, smash, and peel remaining head of garlic. Add cloves to pot, along with the sliced shallots, a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and chili pepper flakes. Sauté 2 - 3 minutes, then turn heat to low and cover; cook, stirring occasionally, cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove cover, up heat to medium, and sauté until shallot and garlic brown just a bit on the edges. Add white wine and scrape up any brown bits, then pour in 3 cups stock and add potatoes, reserved roasted garlic, and tied herbs (or bouquet garni), along with a generous pinch of sea salt.
Bring mixture to a boil, and then turn heat down to a bubbling simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove bouquet garni and carefully puree soup in a blender. Return soup to pot, adding up to 1 more cup of broth, if needed. Add sea salt to taste, add a splash more of white wine if needed, lots and lots of black pepper, and serve with a sprig of thyme and minced parsley leaves.
The flavor will develop further after a day in the fridge. The soup reheats beautifully, but does tend to thicken – keep a 1/2 cup or so of stock (water will work, too) on hand to thin soup if needed.