30 cloves garlic, peeled*
7 cups good-quality vegetable or chicken broth, divided**
Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread (see recipe below)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped white onion
8 small new potatoes, peeled, diced, and reserved in cold water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
Coarse salt and freshly-cracked pepper to taste
Freshly-grated parmesan cheese
* When selecting garlic, it should be big, plump and firm, tight silky skins with its paper-like covering intact, not spongy, soft, or shriveled. Also remember that a single bulb of garlic usually contains between ten and twenty individual cloves of garlic. The individual cloves are covered with a fine pinkish/purple skin, and the head of cloves is then covered with white papery outer skin.
** Learn how easy it is to make your own homemade Chicken Stock - Basic Chicken Stock.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine garlic cloves and 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth; bring to a boil and poach 15 minutes or until soft. Remove garlic cloves to a small bowl and mash with a fork; set aside for use in make Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread.
Cook and reduce chicken broth to a glaze; remove from heat and set aside. Note: Glazes are concentrated reductions of stock that can be used to fortify sauces.
Prepare Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread; cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
In a large soup pot over low heat, melt butter. Add onion and saute until soft. Drain the water from the potatoes; stir the potatoes into the butter and onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until the potatoes are softened. Remove from heat and let cool 10 to 15 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, puree soup; return to soup pot. Add garlic glaze; stir until well blended.
The soup can be made 1 to 2 days in advance up until this stage. Refrigerate until ready to finish.
When ready to serve: Stir in heavy cream, milk, salt, and pepper; cook, over low heat, another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve with Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread.
Makes 6 servings.
Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread:
6 slices Sourdough French Bread, thinly sliced and lightly toasted
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Poached garlic cloves
In a small bowl, combine butter and mashed garlic cloves; mash until well blended. Spread garlic mixture evenly over the top of the bread slices.
When ready to serve, broil bread for a few seconds or until top is lightly browned and bubbly.