French Garlic and Potato Soup

This traditional garlic soup is similar to a vichyssoise, with the leek being replaced by garlic and sweet shallots.  It’s my cure-all for everything from relieving a simple headache to treating the full-blown flu. Garlic has so many antibacterial, antiviral and medicinal benefits, I’ve always said it’s better than antibiotics.  For ages, women have kept their families healthy by making healing garlic soups to fend off sickness and disease.  Don’t let the whole head of garlic in the soup turn you off – as it cooks, it becomes sweet and buttery, and the bite is tempered by puréed potatoes and a splash of milk.

I feel a bit like a witch doctor, stirring a potion in her cauldron when I stand at the stove, stirring this soup.  The aroma of the garlic mixing with fresh sage in velvety plumes of steam rising from the pot foretell the healing power within.  Garlic really is magic.

Rebecca Sherrow Garlic Soup

Rebecca's garlic soup

French Garlic and Potato Soup

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 head of garlic (about 15 cloves), peeled and roughly chopped
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
2 medium gold or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 large sage leaves, cut into strips
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup whole milk

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the garlic and shallots and cook over medium heat until the garlic is just soft, but not brown.  Add the broth and the chopped potatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  Add the sage and cook a minute longer.

Using an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender, purée the soup.  Stir in the vinegar, followed by the milk.  Taste for seasonings and add salt or pepper if necessary. Serve with homemade croutons or crackers.

Homemade Croutons

3 – 4 slices of bread of your choice
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
dry herbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).

Cut the bread into cubes and place on a small sheet pan.  Drizzle over the olive oil and toss with your hands until the oil is evenly distributed.  Spread the bread in an even layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper, as well as any dry herbs (if using).

Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and turn the croutons over.  Place back in the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes.  Remove for the oven and let sit on the counter until ready to use.

Healing Garlic Soup

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