November 19, 2009

Cookbook Review: Love Soup - Creamy Potato & Roasted Garlic Soup

When I was asked if I'd like to receive a copy of Love Soup, a cookbook by Anna Thomas, I said yes. Why? Because I knew the cold weather months were coming and soup is something that just warms you from the inside out. There's nothing like a pot of soup simmering on the stove when someone comes in from the cold that says comfort food. Add to it some fresh baked bread and you've got a meal that everyone will enjoy.

As I read through this cookbook, because well... that's what I do. I read cookbooks as if they are "regular" books. Anna Thomas shares a bit about each recipe and how that particular soup has become important to her. There was a time when she lived in a very small space and had limited cooking facilities. This required her to get creative and soup was the easiest thing to make on her very small stove.

I have several recipes marked to try, and now that the weather has finally gotten cool enough that I am craving soup it was time to finally get started. This week, one of My Boys was home sick from school, so I decided I'd make the Creamy Potato & Roasted Garlic Soup from the book. I have fond memories of eating potato soup growing up, but we called it "Bare Soup" - although I always thought it was Bear soup when my mom would call it that. The name Bare Soup came from the fact that the soup was made with very few ingredients - and most likely when money was tight.

This particular soup uses one sweet potato combined with a large russet potato. This gives the soup a warm, orangey color that makes me think almost of what a butternut squash soup would look like.

From Family, Friends and Food

Now, I must confess, I had to slightly alter the soup as I (shockingly) was out of garlic. I always have several heads of garlic on hand, but not this time. Didn't even realize I had run out! Definitely being added to the shopping list for this weekend! I imagine that the roasted garlic would take the flavor of this soup up a notch and should not be omitted.

My only complaint with the soup is that it was not as creamy as I would have liked it to be. I would take her suggestion to add some cream in place of some of the milk next time I make it. I know, not for the calorie concious... but, if you are looking for a true creamy potato soup, I think it would be worth the extra calories to use it.

This cookbook is filled with recipes and if you follow any type of vegetarian diet, then it will be right up your alley! All recipes are either vegetarian or vegan, with limited use of dairy throughout the cookbook.

Creamy Potato & Roasted Garlic Soup
Source: Love Soup - Anna Thomas

1 large head garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for roasting the garlic
1 large russet potato (12 oz)
1 large sweet potato (12 oz)
3 large stalks of celery
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes
2 cups whole milk
2-3 cups vegetable broth
6-7 ounces Russian kale (or other kale) - I left this out as I didn't have any on hand.
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the loose outer husk off the head of garlic, slice off a tiny bit of the top, place the garlic on a square of aluminum foil, and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Fold the foil up and crimp to seal it. Roast the garlic for about 40 minutes, or until it gives when pressed. Allow it to cool.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes, cut the celery into small dice and combine the vegetables in a soup pot with 3 cups cold water. Add the thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, some black pepper and a large pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are completely soft.

When the garlic is ready, squeeze the soft roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and add them to the soup. Stir in the milk and puree the soup in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender. Be careful not to overprocess. Stop the moment the vegetables are smooth or the potatoes could turn gummy.

Return the soup to the pot and stir in enough vegetable broth to give the soup the consistency you like. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.

Trim the kale, slicing away the tough stems, and cut it into 1-inch squares. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan and stir the chopped garlic in it for a minute or two, just until it begins to color. Add the kale and saute it, stirring constantly at first, then frequently, until it thoroughly wilts. Add a splash of water - just a few tablespoons - then cover the pan and let the kale steam until the water is gone and the kale is tender, 5-6 minutes. Stir the kale into the soup.

Drizzle about a teaspoon of the remaining olive oil over each serving and serve with crostini. If reheating, do it gently, and stir the soup from time to time to prevent scorching.

Tip" Add a little cream in place of some of the milk if you want a richer soup, or stir in some creamy goat cheese and let it melt into the soup just before serving.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman (unless otherwise noted). If you want to use something please ask first.

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Michele said...

Sounds great! I love the color!

Cate O'Malley said...

Sounds good for whatever ails you. Hope your son is feeling better!

Patsyk said...

thanks, Michele!

Cate - thanks! yes, he is feeling better... turned out it was a sinus infection and now he's on the mend!

Shelby said...

Soup sounds SO good right now. I'm always cold when the weather turns and never can seem to get warm! I also hate it when I find out I am out of something that I usually am not out of! In any case, your soup looks great!

Heidi said...

I read cookbooks the same way. I love them!! Have a great Thanksgiving :)

Anonymous said...

Roasted Garlic is such a favorite of mine P.....I had to change my blog because of some blogzillas.. hope you got my e-mail.

= )

my new site is = )

lortz said...

i've never made a garlic soup. this looks really good!

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