Sunday, February 10, 2008

Roasted Garlic and Shallot Potato Soup with Cheesy Croutons

Garlic? Awesome. Shallots? Awesome. Potatoes? Awesome. Cheesy croutons? Awesome.

Seriously, what could be wrong with this soup? Nothing. It was delicious. It might be better as an appetizer soup, but we loved it as our dinner (we just added some extra croutons!). It is super delicious if you like all of the aforementioned ingredients. It's a little bit time-consuming, but not too bad. Things happen in intervals so you still have time to do other stuff between steps. The only change we made is that we didn't use blue cheese on our croutons, which turned out to be a good choice. I think it would have been too overpowering. We would definitely make this again.

soup

Roasted Garlic and Shallot Potato Soup with Cheesy Croutons
Cooking Light, 12/07
Originally from CL 3/03; reprinted as a "Greatest Hits" recipe

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

Croutons:
16 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread baguette
Cooking spray
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°

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 in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over garlic; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover with foil. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Add shallots to pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over shallots; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until tender and browned. Cool. Squeeze garlic to extract pulp; peel shallots. Discard skins. Set garlic pulp and shallots aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic pulp, peeled shallots, and wine. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.

Stir in broth, potato, and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Cool slightly. Place half of potato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture.

Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in milk, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into pureed mixture. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare croutons, place bread slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Lightly coat tops of bread with cooking spray. 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.

Yield: 8 servings

Note added on 2/16/08: I'm going to attempt to get in on Sweetnicks' ARF/5-A-Day Challenge, and this recipe is the first one I am submitting, since it's made with antioxidant-rich Russet potatoes! My goal is to continue making at least one recipe per week that I can submit to this "challenge." It will be fun!

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