RECIPE: Creamy Potato & Roasted Garlic Soup (vegan edition)

My sister and I found this delightful recipe online – mind you it’s called “Potato and Roasted Garlic Soup” but we were searching for a garlic and kale soup so that’s what this soup is to us.  Choosing this recipe involved a few things:

– determining that we wanted make something soup-like to warm everyone up on a chilly pre-winter night (New England doesn’t really do fall – anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to get you down here to stimulate the local economy during the so-called leaf-peeping season and/or to jump-start the holiday season.  Don’t fall for it.)

– checking out ingredient availability and discovering lots of kale, the usual assortment of garlic heads, potatoes, celery, etc.  The makings of a nice hearty soup.

– being interrupted by washing dishes, talking to another sister on Skype and who knows what else…

– the first few garlic+kale+soup+recipe searches yielded recipes with wheatberries and while I happen to _love_ wheatberries, we’re all out. Which implies that we normally have them stocked and you’re welcome to believe that if it will increase my coolness factor.  🙂 But they are good for snacking on (cooked) and are an intact whole grain so very good for you!  But we didn’t have any so … moot point.

– removed the wheatberries from the search and a few recipes later we find a recipe post by Anna Thomas from her book Love Soup. The story of the soup is probably about 35% of what sold us on the recipe – you’ll have to read it yourself.

The preparation was not short, but with two of us it went easily and fairly leisurely.  Plenty of chopping and boiling and blending and what not but in the end, it was very pretty and very yummy.  At one stage, before it was completed, my sister exclaimed that it just tasted like “weird mashed potatoes” and I can’t say I agreed with her but it definitely is one of those recipes that leaves you wondering as you prepare it and then comes together at the very end.  The constituent parts are like musicians queuing up before the curtain rises…or something like that.

So without further bad metaphor, here is the recipe, with modifications and notes.  The original recipe is linked in the title.


Creamy Potato & Roasted Garlic Soup

(from Love Soup by Anna Thomas, via Leites Culinaria ~ click title for original post)


1 large head garlic (we used 2 medium heads)
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for roasting the garlic
1 large russet potato (used golden – we prefer these for roasting so again, its what we had and they work just as well)
1 large sweet potato
3 large stalks celery

3 cups cold water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf (don’t forget to take this out at the end esp if you have children)
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground white pepper (black pepper has been shown to be carcinogenic so we no longer use it)
Crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups Natura soy milk, vanilla (probably would use plain if we were planning ahead but it is what we had & we don’t drink cow’s milk hence the substitution)
2 to 3 cups vegetable broth (using Rapunzel bouillon cubes)
6 to 7 ounces Russian kale, or other kale (we used 2 literal handfuls)
1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Peel the loose outer husk off the head of garlic, slice off a tiny bit of the top, place the garlic on a square of aluminum foil, and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Fold the foil up and crimp to seal it. Roast the garlic for about 40 minutes, or until it gives when pressed. [This took 1h 10min for us – I’d advise turning the heat up on the oven a bit.  400C might be better. But your mileage/oven performance will vary.] Allow it to cool.

3. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes, cut the celery into small dice, and combine the vegetables in a soup pot with 3 cups (750 ml) cold water. Add the thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, some white pepper, and a large pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are completely soft.

4. When the garlic is ready, squeeze the soft roasted cloves out of their skins and add them to the soup. [Be careful with this step if you didn’t (have time to) let the garlic cool – they are HOT when they come out.] Stir in the milk and puree the soup in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender, but be careful not to overprocess. Stop the moment the vegetables are smooth, or the potatoes could turn gummy.  <– I would like to know why this is the case.

5. Return the soup to the pot, and stir in enough vegetable broth to give the soup the consistency you like. [We added ~1/2 cup broth because we were going for a thicker soup.] Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.  [Added 2 T San-J low sodium organic soy sauce.]

6. Trim the kale, slicing away the tough stems, and cut it into 1-inch squares. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan and stir the chopped garlic in it for a minute or two, just until it begins to color. Add the kale and sauté it, stirring constantly at first, then frequently, until it thoroughly wilts. Add a splash of water—just a few tablespoons—then cover the pan and let the kale steam until the water is gone and the kale is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir the kale into the soup.

7. Drizzle about a teaspoon of the remaining olive oil over each serving of soup. If reheating, do it gently, and stir the soup from time to time to prevent scorching.  [We added a few gratigns of soy cheese over the top and let it melt in as a variation of Anna Thomas’ suggested alternative preparation.  Another vegan alternative is to use soft tofu in place of soy milk as a cream alternative, although the soup was pretty good and creamy by the time we finished.]

Enjoy!  I personally liked the soup just as much, if not more, the next day without reheating.  Sometimes, soup is a dish best served cold.


3 thoughts on “RECIPE: Creamy Potato & Roasted Garlic Soup (vegan edition)

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