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Baked Potato Garlic Soup

(recipe, Katie Hickey)

Ingredients

  1. 1 head garlic
  2. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  3. 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped small
  4. 5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used 5 cups; add the extra cup after pureeing if you’d like a thinner soup)
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. salt
  7. 2½ lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  8. ⅓ cup sour cream
  9. Ground black pepper
  10. Toppings, optional:
  11. Minced fresh chives or scallions
  12. Bacon bits
  13. Sour cream
  14. Grated cheddar
  15. A drizzle of melted (or melted and browned) butter

Steps

  1. Rinse the head of garlic to remove any outside grit or dirt. Cut the top third off the head and peel any loose papery skins off the bottom two-thirds.
  2. In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook them until soft (but not brown), about 5 minutes. Add the larger part of the garlic head (whole, not chopped), broth, bay leaves and ¾ teaspoon salt. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is very tender when pierced with tip of knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Discard bay leaves. Remove garlic heads. Using tongs or paper towels, squeeze garlic head at root end until cloves slip out of their skins. Using a fork, mash the garlic cloves to smooth paste and add it back to the soup.
  4. Add sour cream to soup and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Using immersion blender, process soup until chunky-creamy, leaving lots of potato texture intact. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with whatever makes you happy on top, or nothing at all.