Remove excess layers of paper from head of garlic and slice off the very top of head. Place on aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, cover and roast at 400 F for about 30 mins or until garlic becomes soft.
In a 3 qt sauce pan saute shallots. Combine all the ingredients in the same sauce pan except for the potatoes, cream and saffron. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Use an immersion hand blender to puree the soup (or run through a food processor).
Add the potatoes, cream and saffron to the soup and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Divide the soup into 6 oven safe bowls and top with french bread. Sprinkle cheese on top of the bread and broil until the cheese begins to brown. Serve while warm.