It never fails. Whenever we return from a book tour, I get the sniffles. Then I get the sneezes. Then I start getting whine-y. Then Brent reminds me that I’m not the first person ever to suffer from the common cold. Then I bite his head off because there’s nothing common about me. (I’m a little delirious by this stage.)
Garlic, as most folks know, has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties. When I get sick I try to get as much garlic in me as possible. However, when I get sick the last thing I want to do is cook. So in lieu of eating raw garlic straight out of the root cellar, I’ve devised the laziest ever garlic soup. It also happens to be one of the best garlic soups I’ve ever tasted. (And that’s not just because I can’t taste anything when I get sick.)
In addition to the garlic, this soup also has onions (antiviral) & hot pepper (which acts as an expectorant.) And potatoes & bacon (because they’re awesome.)
So what makes it “Lazy?” Well, it only dirties up one baking sheet (none, in fact, if you use a tin foil liner) and a Vitamix or blender. Yep…that’s it. There’s no peeling garlic, no onion tears, no sautéing in a sputtering pan, no boiling potatoes in a pot, no spattering simmering. Just a baking sheet and your Vitamix. (And a microwave to re-heat it, if not using a Vitamix.)
Here. Watch how in these step-by-step photo instructions. (btw, these photos are for a double batch. This last cold was a doozy) The full recipe is at the bottom of this post.
First slice across the stem end of 1-3 bulbs of garlic…use as much as you dare, or your spouse/friends/colleagues/dog will permit. The stem end is the end without the squiggly roots on it. You don’t want to take of too much…just enough to expose the interior of the cloves. That’s it! No peeling, chopping, mincing, smushing…nothing. Just one cut across the top of the bulb.
Next, chop your potatoes…any kind…into roughly the same size as the bulbs of garlic. If you use new potatoes, you won’t have to chop them at all. Which is really lazy, and I heartily endorse that. Chop the onions into halves or quarters depending on their size. Again, they should be the roughly same size as the bulb of garlic. I’m sorry for this…but you will have to peel the onions. But chop them into quarters first and the outer layer should come right off. That’s as easy as I can make it for you.
Okay, now for the super lazy part. Usually, when roasting garlic, potatoes…or any veggie…this is when you’d brush them with olive oil and toss them to coat. That gets your hands really messy. Or dirties up a brush. So instead, just lay strips of bacon on top of your potatoes onions and garlic. As it cooks, the fat from the bacon will help brown the veggies and keep them from drying out. It’s especially important to make sure the bacon covers the exposed ends of the garlic bulbs. Those precious precious bulbs. Before you slide the tray into the oven, sprinkle it with red pepper flakes and some coarse salt.
Let it roast away until the edges of the veggies are browned and the bacon is crispy.
OMG. Clearly, that’s short for for “Oh My Garlic.” How luscious does this roasted garlic bulb look?
Once roasted, set the bacon aside & transfer the potatoes and onions to your Vitamix or blender. Don’t just slide it all off the tray into the blender…there’s a little too much bacon fat for that. Leave that behind in the pan and discard or save for another use . (You may have to work in batches depending on your blender’s size.) The garlic cloves should be a paste consistency. Squeeze them out of their skins and into the blender with the other veggies.
This all looks like a big mess. But trust me. Those blackened bits of potato skin and onion add all the flavor.
Finally, just add the stock to the blender and whizzzzzz it smooth. Note: when blending potatoes, it’s important not to fill the blender more than half full…including liquid…or you may burn out your engine. I don’t know why this is. Something about blending potatoes and rice really poses a challenge to blenders. I think they have a complicated history.
Now, if you’re using a Vitamix, blend it on the soup setting and it will automatically come out smooth, creamy and piping hot. If you’re just using a boring old blender, (no offense to boring old blenders,) pulse it smooth, pour it into a bowl, and heat it up in the microwave. Do not…I repeat: do not dirty up another pot just to heat it up. That goes against every lazy bone in my body. And I have a lot of them.
Oh yeah…before serving (yourself) crumble the bacon on top. But I didn’t really have to remind you of that, did I?
SummaryThis roasted garlic & potato soup is a certified cold-killer, but it also tastes great for any winter supper.
Prep time: 5 Min
Cook time: 40 Min
Total time: 45 Min
1 ½ lbs small new potatoes, washed but unpeeled
2-3 full bulbs of garlic, with ¼ inch cut across stem end to expose cloves.
2 medium onions chopped into quarters
3 pieces of bacon
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
coarse salt to taste
4-6 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place potatoes, garlic bulbs and onions close together on foil lined baking sheet. Drape bacon slices across top, being sure to cover exposed ends of garlic cloves. Place in oven. Roast until edges of potatoes and onions are browned, and bacon is crispy.
Add 3 cups of the chicken stock to blender. Transfer onions and potatoes to Vitamix or blender. Do not fill blender more than half full at anytime. Depending on the size of your appliance, you may have to work in batches. Using your fingers, squeeze the contents of each roasted garlic clove from its skin, into the blender.
Puree mixture to desired texture. Add more stock if soup seems too glue-y. If using a Vitamix, be sure to cycle on the soup setting so mixture stays hot. If using a blender, pour soup into serving bowl and microwave until steaming.