I’ve been trying to photograph and post some of my super easy soup recipes lately, such as my Roasted Garlic and Veggie Soup and my Summer Garden Gazpacho. We love soup in my house and I love them because they can be easy to throw together while still being incredibly nutritious.
If you scan through my soup recipes, you might notice the word “roasted” used quite often. That’s because roasting your soup ingredients adds a nice boost of flavor and depth, and this recipe is another perfect example of this. This is a soup I’ve made for many moons and beyond, mostly because I’m seriously obsessed with garlic. Roasting garlic, as many of you know, smooths out its harsh edges and brings out a sweeter, smokier flavor. This is the case with roasting most things as long as you bring it to the “roasted” point and not the “burnt” point. When roasting, you just want to get everything to golden, with a hint of browning. Burning garlic, or any other ingredient, is only going to get you sharp, harsh, bitterness and that’s not what you’re looking for.
Okay, enough of my rant. Let’s make some soup. And stay tuned, because I’m going to give you a number of variations on how to make this creamier, smokier and more.
roasted garlic and leek soup with potatoes recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 medium to large cloves of garlic, peeled and gently smashed, but left mostly whole
- 2 medium leeks, white and tender greens only, cut into 1-inch pieces and rinsed well
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (optional – if you don’t want to use wine, use vegetable stock instead)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (again, optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 medium potatoes – preferably red or gold – peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
- turmeric and freshly-chopped parsley for serving (optional)
In a large stockpot, add olive oil and heat over medium heat for about a minute.
Add garlic and leeks and toss well with olive oil.
Cover, turn burner to lowest setting and let roast on the stovetop for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, being careful to not let anything burn.
You’re looking to have the garlic and leeks soften completely and turn golden, with a few pieces start to gently brown. You’ll also start to notice some browning on the bottom of the pan.
When you’ve reached this point, add the wine and, using a large spoon, scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and stir well.
Add stock, black pepper, pepper flakes and thyme. Stir well.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, or until the garlic and leeks are all fully soft and cooked through.
Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and then return to pan.
Add diced potatoes and simmer about 17-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat, spoon into bowls, sprinkle with a pinch of turmeric and parsley and serve.
This soup is a huge antioxidant boost to help protect you from all the nasty winter bugs that circulate this time of year. Adding a bit of turmeric just ups the antioxidant factor, but it’s totally optional.
Garlic is good for your heart, your blood and your gut, so it’s good to add it to your diet whenever you can. Roasting it removes the sharpness while still keeping its health benefits.
I promised you some variations on this and believe me, there are many. Here are some of them:
- If you want a creamier soup, add 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream
- If you want a creamier soup without adding dairy, when the potatoes are done cooking , scoop out a cup or so and puree it and then add it back to the pan. Viola! Creamy soup without the dairy.
- Want a smokier flavor? Crisp up some diced bacon when you’re browning the garlic and leeks and cook it with the soup.
- If you prefer to keep the bacon crispy, cook it separately and sprinkle on top of soup before serving.
Never, ever be afraid to play with your food.