RecipeSquare-150x150 The combination of garlic and potatoes in a soup is counterintuitive, but is surprising indeed. Think about it in the same mind the makes potato and leek soup or vichyssoise served warm, and it seems more appealing. After the garlic has been roasted long enough to make it soft and nutty, the sharp flavor we associate with the savory vegetable is nearly gone, and new flavors appear. This version uses a lot of garlic, but spreads it out through the agency of potatoes. It’s a great soup in the wintertime, and in the summer it can be served cold. This soup is adapted from one Chef Andrea Apuzzo and I did for our 1989 cookbook, La Cucina Di Andrea’s.

Garlic potato soup.

  • 4 heads fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 leek, white and tender green parts only, washed and sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into large cubes.
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced very thin, for garnish

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.

1. Cut the garlic heads across, about a quarter of the way down from the top of the cloves. Remove the outer skin. Spoon 4 tsp. of the olive oil on four puddles on a clean (preferably stainless steel) pan. Put the pan in the oven and bake for an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove, cool, and peel all the garlic.

2. Move the pan to a medium-hot burner on the stove. Add the remaining olive oil, leeks, celery, and the garlic. Cook until everything is soft. Add the wine and bring it to a boil for about a minute.

3. Add the chicken stock and the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour and 15 minutes.

4. Strain the soup and puree the solids in a food processor, along with enough broth to makes it smooth. Strain the puree through a medium sieve back into the soup. Return to a simmer. Add the whipping cream, thyme, salt, pepper and Tabasco.

5. Right before you’re ready to serve, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the the slivers of garlic and sizzle them until browned around the edges.

5. Right before you’re ready to serve, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the the slivers of garlic and sizzle them until browned around the edges.

6. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the toasted garlic slivers.

Serves eight.