Comforting, Cold-Busting, Garlic Soup
The fall weather in Iowa this year has been defined by dramatic fluctuations, with temperatures reaching into the 40s and 50s (and even the 60s on Thanksgiving!) during the day, and then plummeting into the 20s at night. Perhaps these temperature changes are part of the reason that so many of my friends and coworkers have already been battling nasty colds and flu, before winter even makes a real appearance. The Midwestern Gentleman and I both succumbed to a virus about a week before Thanksgiving, and this soup helped soothe our sniffley, congested discomfort.
I love this soup’s creamy texture, which comes from Vitamin C-rich potatoes instead of milk or cream. Use a waxy potato like Yukon Gold (not a starchy potato like a Russet) to ensure a smooth, velvety texture. I like to use 3/4 lb of potatoes, but if you prefer a really thick soup, you could use a full pound of potatoes. This recipe is slightly modified from one in the November 2011 issue of Whole Living magazine. We enjoyed our soup with with thick, buttered slices of pumpernickel bread.
2 heads garlic
3/4 to 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 to 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the garlic heads in half crosswise, rub with olive oil all over, and wrap in foil.
Roast garlic for about 35 to 40 minutes, until soft and sweet. Let the garlic cool until it’s comfortable to handle.
While the garlic is roasting, peel and dice the potatoes. Grate the parmesan cheese. When the roasted garlic has cooled enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their papery peels into a medium-sized pan. Add the potatoes and the chicken broth. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove the pan from the heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. (You can also puree the soup in a regular blender, just be careful not to overfill because the soup will be hot and create a lot of steam inside the blender.) Add the parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and well blended into the soup. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve topped with some extra parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper, if desired. Makes 4 servings.