Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup

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Difficulty: Medium - experience needed


3 large garlic heads
1/3 cup olive oil
1 bunch leeks (about 3 cups, using white part)
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups skim milk
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut across tops of garlic, about 1.2-inch into bulb to create a flat top and expose some of the cloves. Remove excess papery skin, Place bulbs on foil or in small casserole with cover; drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Close foil or cover casserole. Bake 1 hour. Remove and cool. cut off green upper leaves of leeks--down to the point where dark green begins to pale-- and discard the leaves. Slice leeks in half, then hold under running water, separating them to let the water flow through. Place the flat side down on a cutting board and slice very thin. Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot and add leeks. Cook over medium-high heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Squeeze soft garlic into the container of a blender, discarding skins, Ass about 3 cups of leek mixture, blend until smooth. Add back into pan, then use a potato masher or electric mixer to smooth out soup, leaving some chunks as desired. Add milk and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese if desired,


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