During the bleak midwinter, I generally become preoccupied with pureed, sippable soups – ones I can fill my supersized coffee mug with during long afternoons at my desk, allowing for an extra boost of nutrients instead of another hit of caffeine. With several heads of beautiful garlic still left over from this summer’s CSA farm, I decided to toss it all into one wondrously creamy, garlicky soup that we topped with grated Parmesan cheese on one of the coldest days of the year. It made a great many people very, very happy. Mostly me.
This soup would do well with a potato or two, or some sautéed mushrooms. But it’s wonderful as is – a plain, creamy garlic bisque. Shall we call it bisque? Yes lets.
The recipe came from the February 1999 issue of Bon Appétit, but I wasn’t too diligent with my clove count. And I envisioned a sort of cheese cement forming on the bottom of my bowl if I put the grated Parm in first, so I put it on top. So there. If I had some crusty bread around, I may have floated it on top first, as a vehicle for the cheese. Rebellious, I know. I used chicken stock – you could, of course, use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version.
Roasted Garlic Bisque with Parmesan Cheese
If you’re not a fan of peeling cloves of garlic, you could roast them in their skins, then squeeze them out afterward.
3 heads of garlic – cloves separated and peeled
canola or olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
2 large sweet onions, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
15-20 garlic cloves, peeled (yes- another 2 heads)
2 thin-skinned potatoes, diced
1 L low sodium chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
finely grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the garlic cloves in small baking dish, drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Cover tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat; saute onions and thyme until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out into the pot, and add the raw garlic cloves. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the potatoes and stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Purée soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth, adding the cream and some salt and pepper.
Serve hot, with a good grating of Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6.