Vampire Slayer’s Soup

Garlic has a long list of health benefits: antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antivampiric (okay, I admit it’s been hard to find research studies on that last one), and much, much more. Garlic lovers will gravitate toward this soup, but I want to convince those of you who say, “Garlic? Eww!’ to try it. Those overwhelmed by garlic’s natural pungency will delight in how roasting transforms the garlic into a caramelized, sweet-smelling delight. In this recipe, roasted garlic is simmered in the broth, adding to the gentle mellowing. Further fortified with Yukon gold potatoes, thyme, pepper, onion, and a spritz of lemon, this nutritious soup will arm you to the teeth . . . so to speak.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

4 heads garlic
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup peeled and finely diced Yukon gold potatoes
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 1/4 cups magic mineral broth, old fashioned chicken stock or or store-bought broth

Cut the tops off of the heads of garlic and discard.

Drizzle each head of garlic with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap the garlic in parchment paper in one bundle, and then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes; the aroma will tell you when it’s ready. The flesh should be soft and golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, potatoes, thyme, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and sauté for 5 minutes. Pour in 3/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the skillet, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pan. Simmer until potatoes are tender and liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the flesh into a bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to form a paste.

Pour the remaining 21/2 cups of broth into the blender. Add the roasted garlic and the onion mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to a soup pot over low heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook just until heated through.

Taste; you may want to add a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

COOK’S NOTE: Roasted garlic is creamy, nutty, and eminently spreadable, so you may want to roast extra garlic or set aside a few cloves for later use. It’s great for perking up vegetables and marinades. To speed preparation of the soup, you can roast the garlic in advance. Once it has cooled, store the roasted heads in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to up to 3 days.