Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sweet Basil's Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup
If you are a Needham-ite you remember when our little ol' hometown only had a couple restaurants, the highlights being Bergson's (okay the Bergie paper books they gave you were cool) and the Greek restaurant Four Stars. Luckily, in 2009 there are some better choice, one being (my personal favorite) Sweet Basil. Santa brought me the Sweet Basil cookbook this year and I've been working my way through it. This soup is one of the many in the book that look delicious (and proved to be!).
Garlic is one of those things that tastes so different depending on how it is cooked. Raw garlic is arresting, sauteed garlic is sweet but still strong, but roasted garlic is something completely different. When garlic is roasted it turns into a sweet buttery, creamy flavor, nothing all like the traditional stinky garlic, thought to ward off vampires and scare away kisses. I usually roast garlic in the oven (wrapped in foil and left to get ooey-gooey) but this recipe has you "roast" it in olive oil on the stove - which worked really well. This soup is so rich and creamy but full of healthy ingridents (essentially it tastes like it is full of butter and cream but there is neither!)
Sweet Basil's Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup *Adapted to be vegetarian
2 cups whole garlic cloves peeled (about 3 bulbs)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
Pinch chopped fresh rosemary (I used more than a pinch, say a 1/2 tablespoon)
Pinch chopped fresh sage (I used more than a pinch...again)
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & diced (about 4 cups)
1 quart chicken stock (I used vegetable stock)
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
In a large saucepan, combine the garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, until the garlic cloves are dark brown and soft, stirring occasionally to prevent the garlic from sticking. Increase the heat to medium-high, and then add the carrot, rosemary, and sage. Saute this mixture for 5 minutes, until the carrots begin to brown and carmalize.
Add the potatoes, vegetable stock, and minced garlic. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Transfer to a blender, food processor, or use an immersion blender, puree until smooth then return the mixture to the saucepan, reheating if neccessary. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the Parmesan, parsley and sage, and serve immediately.
In the Sweet Basil book, it says they use 100 lbs of garlic a week!
What is garlic breath?
An enzyme in garlic creates sulfur, which, when eaten, is absored into the bloodstream and lungs. The stench escapes throught the mouth and pores. Hence garlic breath!
*I gave Finn a carrot nub to eat but he ignored it and feel asleep instead...