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A garnish is essential to add crunch. Garlic chips, bacon bits, fried leeks, and garlic croutons are good options for garnish. A potato masher can be used instead, the consistency will not be as creamy. If leeks are not available, substitute an equal amount of yellow onion.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped small (about 1 cup)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced-pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 heads garlic, rinsed-papery skins removed and top third of heads cut off and discarded
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth or 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1⁄2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 1/2 cups)
- 1 lb Red Bliss potatoes, unpeeled-cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
For Reheating Soup
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth or 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
- ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup fresh chives, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 medium garlic cloves, sliced thin lengthwise
- table salt
- TO MAKE SOUP BASE: Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add leeks and cook until soft (do not brown), 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic heads, 6 cups broth, bay leaves, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; partially cover pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is very tender when pierced with tip of knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Add potatoes, partially cover pot, and bring mixture to simmer over medium-high heat. Take pot off heat and let rest 10 minutes. Separate soup into 2 storage containers and freeze up to 1 month.
- TO REHEAT AND SERVE: Run hot water over surface of storage containers to help release frozen blocks of soup. Add soup and 1 cup broth to large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soup is hot and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Remove garlic heads; using tongs or paper towels, squeeze garlic heads at root end until cloves slip out of their skins. Using fork, mash garlic to smooth paste in bowl.
- 3. Stir cream, thyme, and half of mashed garlic into soup; heat soup until hot, about 2 minutes. Taste soup; add remaining garlic paste if desired. Using immersion blender, process soup until creamy, with some potato chunks remaining. Alternatively, transfer 1 1/2 cups potatoes and 1 cup broth to blender or food processor and process until smooth. (Process more potatoes for thicker consistency.) Return puree to pot and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve, sprinkling each portion with chives and garlic chips.
- For Garlic Chips: Heat oil and garlic in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning frequently, until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to plate lined with paper towels; discard oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt.