Potato and Roasted Garlic Soup

by Supriya Raman

1 large bulb of garlic for roasting (make sure cloves are big and there are at least 12 cloves in the bulb)
1 additional garlic clove, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 large potatoes, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
4 cups vegetable broth (I used low sodium)
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup light cream (you can substitute with half and half)
2 tsp canola oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper (this is optional, you can substitute with ground black pepper)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (this is optional)
1/3 cup scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely shredded

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Brush the entire bulb of garlic (skin on) with canola oil. Place it in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Remove and let cool. When completely cooled, gently squeeze the soft roasted garlic from the skin and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the bay leaf and onions and stir until the onions begin to soften. Add the potatoes, salt, red chilli powder and stir for 2 minutes. Add in the minced raw garlic and the roasted garlic, mix well with potatoes and pour in the vegetable broth. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf, reduce the heat to low or warm, let cool slightly then puree the soup until smooth using a hand blender. (If you don’t have a hand blender, transfer to a regular blender, puree the mixture and transfer back to the cooking pot)

Stir in the cream, scallions and cilantro and heat through over medium heat. Remove from heat stir in lemon juice if you wish and serve warm with croutons or any bread of your choice.

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