2/21/14

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup: Not Just to Keep the Vampires Away!



Garlic has been used for centuries for its health benefits.  Many cultures have used garlic for its healing properties, which in those days may have seemed magical (and kept the vampires away). Today, using modern science, some recent studies have shown that garlic may help lower cholesterol.  Other studies have suggested garlic may help slow the process of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).  Much of the benefits come with long term consumption.  Some sources will recommend a clove of garlic every day.  While that may seem daunting to many, think about the many ways you can use garlic.  For example, using garlic to season meat and vegetable instead of salt is a great way to lower your sodium intake without sacrificing flavor.  You can rub raw garlic onto toasted bread in lieu of butter.   Try roasting the bulb in the oven (recipe below) and spread the roasted garlic on the bread, stirred into sauces or pureed into soup.  The roasting gives the garlic a mellow and sweet taste.  With this in mind, I have included a recipe for Roasted Garlic Potato Soup.  Don’t be afraid of all the garlic it calls for, I assure you it has a wonderful mellow taste.  Plus, the roasted garlic helps to give the soup its flavor, instead of the all the cream traditional potato soup relies on for taste! 

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup
Ingredients to gather: olive oil, garlic, onion, potatoes, low sodium chicken broth, milk, thyme, salt, pepper

Cut off tops of garlic heads, place on large piece of foil;  drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Loosely wrap the garlic in the foil; bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Place onions in a medium skillet, over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.  Squeeze garlic to extract pulp; add to onions.  Slowly add broth and let simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.
 
Carefully transfer onion/garlic mixture to a slow-cooker; stir in potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Let cook on low for 4-6 hours, until potatoes are tender. 


 
Using a stick blender, CAFEFULLY blend ingredients to a puree (be careful not to pull blender out of soup while the blender is on).
 



Slowly stir in milk.
 
 

Serve (optional cheese crouton shown in picture, see recipe below) and enjoy!


 
Roasted Garlic Potato Soup
Ingredients:
4 whole garlic heads, unpeeled
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled baking potato (about 3/4 pound)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup milk

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. To prepare soup, remove white papery skins from garlic heads (do not peel or separate cloves); cut off tops, leaving root ends intact. Place garlic on a large piece of foil. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon oil over garlic; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Wrap with foil. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes. Cool.
3. Heat 1/2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Squeeze garlic to extract pulp.  Add garlic pulp ,broth, and wine(or more broth). Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
4. Carefully transfer onion/garlic mixture to a slow-cooker; stir in potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Let cook on low for 4-6 hours, until potatoes are tender. 
5. Using a stick blender, CAFEFULLY blend ingredients to a puree (be careful not to pull blender out of soup while the blender is on). 
6. Slowly stir in milk.  Serve and enjoy.  (Add optional cheese crouton)

Cheese croutons:
Ingredients:
16 (1/2 inch) slices Good N Grainy Bread
Cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare croutons, place bread slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Lightly coat    tops of bread with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.   Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over bread slices, turning once. Bake 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve warm with soup.
 
 

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