F & W: The roasted garlic & Bitch edition. (Read it, you’ll see.)

Have you ever roasted garlic? I highly recommend it. It’s so delicious, and it gives oldie but goodie recipe from Cooking Light – Roasted Garlic Potato Soup a rich flavor. It’s so good that you do not in fact, miss the fat that is left out of this recipe, and traditionally found in most potato soups.

Well, the fat that is left out unless you end up topping your soup with sharp cheddar cheese and bacon, like we did….but um…it really didn’t need that, we just really like any excuse to add cheese and bacon to something.

And, I have a huge announcement: the fiance who doesn’t  like potatoes, unless they are fried and dipped in ketchup even ate some of the soup and said it was good! Honestly, the garlic changes everything.

I’m not going to lie. I was scared.

FIVE heads of garlic? That seemed a bit over the top, even for a garlic lover. I read some of the reviews and it seemed that most people said it didn’t need five. I decided to cut it down to three.  I was really just looking after DD Girl, Roomie and the fiance, but then they were all, “oh, you could have totally used five and it would have been great.”

Le sigh. You can’t please these folks, you just can’t. (Geez, I’m such a bitch! — that’s foreshadowing, folks.)

The recipe seems like it might take all night  what with the hour of roasting time for the garlic and all, but don’t let that scare you. Here’s how it all timed out:

[Roasted Garlic-Potato Soup Recipe from Cooking Light, May 1995]

You’ll need

  • 5  whole garlic heads – like I said, I used three, but don’t be chicken. Use five. Do it. Do it. You know you want to.
  • 2  bacon slices, diced – um, ok, so here’s my confession- I cut up five slices so that we could have bacon bits to crumble over the top of the soup.
  • 1  cup  diced onion
  • 1  cup  diced carrot
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced – I know what you are saying – what? MORE garlic? But the thing is that roasted garlic and minced garlic have different flavors. So just go with it. This recipe has been around longer than my 1996 Maxima, which is like totally ancient. Trust it. It’s probably more reliable than my car.
  • 6  cups  diced baking potato (about 2 pounds)
  • 4  cups  low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  cup  2% low-fat milk
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh parsley – I used Italian b/c it’s what I had on hand.

Here are my modified instructions with timing. Because really, isn’t timing like the hardest part of cooking? I think so. Thank you for agreeing with me.

Preheat the oven to 350. Then, while it’s heating, take your knife and cut the point off the top of the garlic heads and peel the papery outsides off as much as you can. Wrap each one in foil and place on a cookie sheet and stick in the oven. Set a timer for 60 minutes, or else you’ll totally loose track of how long they have been roasting.

Dice the onion, carrots, parsley and garlic. Then, peel and chop the potatoes. If you are as slow as me, this has burned at least 20 minutes of the hour. Then, chop the bacon up.

You are about 25 minutes into the hour now, so go ahead and put your large saucepan on medium heat and add your bacon. If you make this the QoQ Fire & Wine night way, remove about 70% of the bacon once it’s cooked and set aside in a bowl with a paper towel to soak up grease. Then remove most of the bacon grease from the pan and add your onion, carrots and minced garlic and saute for five minutes.

Ok, now it’s been at least 35 minutes. Add the potatoes, broth, salt, pepper and bay leaf and bring everything to a boil. This took about 8 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. At some point while this is simmering, you’ll pull the garlic out and set it aside to cool. [I think I simmered for a little longer than 20 minutes, because we were outside on the porch talking for a while and I jumped up at one point and said, gotta go blend!]

Take the roasted garlic out of the foil and start squeezing it into your blender (which thanks to DD Girl, who brought hers, I actually had one for this!)

Fair warning: this might really gross you out because it looks like popping a giant zit. And the warm garlic goo comes out looking a bit grody. Just remember, it’s still garlic and you still love it even if it’s having a bad-looking day.

Take two cups of the potato mixture out of the pot and add it to the garlic goo in the blender. Then blend it and add it back into the soup.

Mmmmm creamy. Pour in the milk, add parsley and stir it up.

I served this with sourdough bread. I meant to have butter on hand for the bread but I guess I didn’t need it because we all just started dipping our bread into the soup. Fire & Wine night really isn’t a classy affair.

Now, I usually don’t talk about the wine we have at Fire & Wine night because it’s usually nothing special. We’re all on a budget these days and rarely do we splurge on good wine for Fire & Wine night. We know that whatever it is, it’s going to be consumed in mass quantities, anyhow.

But on Monday when I was out browsing, I found this bottle of wine that just seemed to say Fire & Wine night:

[Image from K&L Wine Merchants.]

Bitch

Bitch wine. Awesome.

Cute gimicky name, right?

But it’s actually a really nice Grenache from South Africa made by R Wines. It had an almost blackberry finish  and went surprisingly well with the creamy garlic soup.

I expect both the wine and the soup will become regular fixtures in my kitchen. (Which still kind of smells like garlic.)

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