Only after taking the above photo did I realize that there was a near hole in my bread bowl!
Don’t worry though. The levy did not break.
Ever since it has actually decided to be winter here in Colorado, Betsy and I have been on a big soup kick. Maybe this is because our house has poor insulation and, much like my father would say, I refuse to HEAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
So a good warm soup is the best way to ward off the chills on super-cold days.
You might think that this soup is designed to protect from Twilight fans, but it actually has a pretty mild garlic flavor. Mild considering there’s a whole bunch of garlic in it I mean.
But trust me. It’s very delicious especially if you serve it in a big bread bowl.
1) Slice the tips of of the garlic heads and shallots and wrap them loosely in foil. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
2) Roast the garlic and shallots for about 40 minutes until they are fork tender.
3) Let the garlic and shallots cool briefly and then use your fingers to pop the cloves out of the their skin. You can use a fork also, but hands are more fun.
4) Cube potatoes and add them to a large pan with the quart of stock. Also add the roasted garlic and shallots.
5) Cover the soup and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
6) Use a blender to process the soup until it's smooth. Some lumps are just fine.
7) Season with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice. Optionally, you can stir in some cream to make the soup more rich.
8) I like to serve this soup in a bread bowl, but you can definitely serve it in regular bowls also.
Recipe loosely adapted from a Body & Soul recipe.
As you can see, there aren’t actually that many ingredients in this soup. The two ingredients that bring a lot of flavor to the party are the garlic (obv) and the shallots.
Of course, throwing in two heads of fresh garlic isn’t advised. So, let’s roast them.
Start by cutting of just the tops of the garlic and the shallot.
Wrap these guys in foil gently and drizzle in some olive oil and kosher salt.
Then wrap them up tightly and bake them at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. This will make your house smell amazing.
If you’ve never roasted garlic before, it turns into an entirely different beast. Instead of a sharp flavor, the cloves just melt in your mouth with savory delicousness.
Once the heads of garlic are roasted, let them cool for a few minutes and then you can use your fingers to gently pop the cloves out of the skin.
For the shallot, just peel of the skin and roughly chop it.
You should get a lot of cloves, but maybe 100 is an exaggeration.
The Soup Body
While most of the flavor in the soup comes from the garlic and the shallots, the body of the soup comes from two other ingredients: stock and potatoes.
I used a few Yukon gold potatoes and scrubbed them clean and diced them up.
It’s totally fine to leave the skins on for this.
Add the potatoes, stock, water, garlic, and shallot to a large pot and get it simmering. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
This is a soup that really needs to be blended so all the flavors meld together nicely. That said, you have a lot of options for how you blend it.
If you’re fancy-pants like me, you might have a stick blender that makes quick work of the job. I love this blender for soups because you can just blend it in the same pot.
Once your soup is blended, you’re pretty much ready to go. Just season it well with salt and pepper, grate in some Parmesan cheese, and if you’re feeling like it you can add a bit of cream to make it nice and rich.
The Bread Bowl
I love a good bread bowl, but I don’t think all soups are made for bread bowls. I don’t like really hardy soups and stews in bread bowls because it’s just too much.
This soup was made for a bread bowl. The flavors end up being pretty light so it’s nice to have a sturdy side of bread to sop up all the soup with.
The bowl itself becomes this delicious roasted garlic bread. I had no problem finishing all most my entire bread bowl which is a feat!
If you’ve never made bread bowls before, it’s pretty straightforward. You want to find some smaller loafs of bread which you should be able to find at a local bakery without too much problem. I actually found these at the bakery section in my grocery store.
Just cut out the center of the bread bowl and then use your hands to dig out some of the inner bread to form a deep bowl.
Lay these out on a baking sheet and bake them for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees while your soup simmers away.
Then just ladle in some soup to each bread bowl and grate on some extra parmesan.
It really is tough to beat this on a cold winter night.
Of course, the bread bowl is optional. You could just as easily serve this in normal bowls.
If you do that though, I do recommend having plenty of bread or crackers on hand for dipping.