Recovery Meals: Hearty Garlic and Potato Soup

Soup with meds

So far this year has not gone as planned. In my queue was a slew of posts (an interview, a giveaway and more recipes) to make up for the break I always take during the holidays. But as luck had it, I got sick. A cold that started in December, with a brief respite for Christmas, returned with a vengeance (and a raging cough) in early January. With the aid of prescription drugs, I’m finally on my way to full recovery barring any unforeseen freak virus that I happen to encounter.

While I was sick I took the opportunity to cook up a batch of soups. While thin watery soups may work for some, I like soups with lots savory bits. Broth alone doesn’t satisfy me and I need something solid in my stomach to call it a meal.

Uncooked garlic

This recipe for garlic soup (originally found in Bon Appetit) was appealing but didn’t have those satisfying chunks I need. So out of necessity to use up what I already had in the kitchen, I added some sliced potatoes. While terrific on its own, I went further and topped the finished soup with bread and cheese and broiled it in the oven until the cheese melted. Think French onion soup but with garlic.

Soup Closeup

This a great soup while on the edge to full recovery from a cold. Even better yet, make a batch of this if you feel if you’re on the verge of something. Garlic has many health benefits including being a natural antibiotic. This soup has it in spades, using three heads of roasted garlic. The additional squeeze of lemon at the end brightens up the soup and adds a tanginess that I always seem to enjoy especially when I’m feeling under the weather.

Hearty Garlic and Potato Soup

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4

1 head of garlic, cloves removed and unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 head of garlic, cloves removed and peeled
2 shallots, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 red skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup half-and-half

4 lemon wedges
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional additions
1 small baguette, sliced
Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place unpeeled garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes until garlic is golden brown and tender. Let cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, thyme and reserved cloves of peeled garlic and cook until shallots are translucent. Add roasted garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Puree garlic with immersion blender in saucepan until smooth. (Or while working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth and return to saucepan.) Add half-and-half and potatoes. Simmer for 20 more minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

Optional step: Divide soup into four oven-safe bowls. Top with baguette slices until soup is covered and top with cheese. Set bowls under broiler for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

22 thoughts on “Recovery Meals: Hearty Garlic and Potato Soup

  1. re: Spatula. These mini spatulas were a gift a few years ago and perfect for scooping things out of jars or mixing up small batches of things like olive oil and garlic! But if you’re eager to get your hands on a set, they’re available at Williams-Sonoma here in a choice of red or clear plastic.

  2. hi darlene – glad you’re feeling better! wow, this soup uses up 3 heads of garlic? and i thought using 1 head was a lot (for my adobo). i’ll have to try making this one day. my husband would love it. i would just dread the, uh, garlicky gaseous expulsions though!

  3. I ended the year off pretty poorly with a bad persistent cough that lasted three weeks. I wasn’t in the mood for eating, much less cooking! I’m glad to hear that you’re on your way to recovery!

  4. Sorry to hear you’ve been so sick. Bummer — and I know from my experiences with bronchitis. Ugh! Weeks and weeks. Good thing you have your taste buds working. This soup sounds fab (omg the garlic!!!) and I love what you added. I’d call this dessert about now because we’re eating a lot of “feed” and protein. *sigh* Happy New Year to you. Start in February — no one will notice 🙂

  5. I made this soup on Monday and we ate it last night, really great stuff. It did seem like it was missing a little something so I added just a touch of additional chicken flavor to it, but it still was a bit flat. Tonight we will try the splash of lemon juice (I forgot about that!).

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