Roasted Garlic Soup

Roasting transforms the garlic from a hot and peppery bulb to a soft, sweet, buttery condiment without losing that “garlicky” flavor.  It’s quite an amazing metamorphosis.

4 T butter at room temperature
¼C chopped fresh herbs, such as sorrel, chives, parsley or a combination
4 heads of garlic, loose, papery skin removed and ¼ inch of the tops cut off to expose cloves
5 T olive oil
½ t coarse salt, more to taste
2 T olive oil
1 C small cauliflower florets
½ C chopped onion
1 leek, white & light green parts only, cleaned and shopped
2 large boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ C white wine or Vermouth
4 C chicken or vegetable stock
Ground pepper to taste

Make the herb butter by mixing chopped herbs into softened butter. Reserve in the refrigerator. Heat oven to 375. Place garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle olive oil over the heads; sprinkle on the salt. Fold the foil over the garlic heads so they are encased in a pouch. Place on a baking sheet and roast garlic heads until a clove yields a soft puree, 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and open up foil; when garlic is cool, gently squeeze out the pulp from each clove into a bowl. Reserve.

While garlic heads are roasting, prepare the cauliflower florets. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil until it gleams; add cauliflower florets and saute, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until florets are deep golden brown and tender-crisp, about 7 minutes. Reserve.

In a soup pot over low heat, sweat the onions and leeks in 1 T olive oil until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and thyme leaves, turn the heat to medium high and add white wine. Reduce until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add broth and reserved garlic pulp; bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 15 minutes. Puree soup in a food processor, seasoning with salt and pepper. Reheat and serve, topped with a dollop of herb butter and a tablespoon or so of cauliflower florets.

Serves four to six.

Based on 6 servings:
 Calories 294
 Fat grams 16
 Protein grams 8
 Carb grams 30
 Chol mg 0
 Fiber grams 6

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