Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sweet Roasted Garlic Soup

I worked at a funky little burrito shop for a spell once we returned from gallivanting through Mexico. The restaurant turned my skin orange. My hands were glowing gold. Seriously. I snuck scoops of yam into every bean laden burrito I ate. I had bowls of yam puree for breakfast. I bet they went through half as many of the tubers when I left. Sorry Zoe... you are one of the best chefs I know and I owe you like three cases of wine....

See I have a slight fettish with orange vegtables.

I love winter squash, carrots and above all others - yams. I will turn down almost anything in exchange for a roasted yam. Yams are nature's gold. Yams are the way to my heart and apparently the way to turn my skin orange.

When I have the oven on, I usually toss in a few yams to roast. My intentions are great, I am going to snack on the sweet little guys through out the week.  Yeah, they will last days, what really happens is I end up eating them when they are still warm from the oven. All of them. A weeks worth. I ate TWO, one right after the other the other day. J came home and I was horizontal with a horrible belly ache. I may never learn.

I made Joy's roasted garlic soup for an excuse to turn on the oven, heating our drafty apartment on a blustery day.  Or was it I turned on the oven because I had just got home from the store with a clutch of yams and needed an excuse to roast them..... chicken or the egg......

The roasted yam puree went into the soup, the soup that went into my belly.

Happy ending to a love story.

Sweet Roasted Garlic Soup (it is a mouthful)

Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes 2 large, or 4 small servings

For the Roasted Garlic:

26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

1 large yam

For the Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, sliced into half rings
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
15 to 18 garlic cloves, peeled but kept mostly whole
4 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock will also work)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, milk, or half and half, or heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
lemon wedges, Parmesan cheese, and good olive oil for drizzling

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  

Clean the yam by scrubbing under warm water and place in the oven. 

Place 26 unpeeled garlic cloves in a small baking dish.  Toss with olive oil, a few pinches of salt and black pepper.  Place the foil-covered garlic cloves in the oven.  Bake both for 45 minutes. After 40 to 45 minutes, a knife will easily pass through the roasted garlic and roasted potatoe.  Remove both from the oven and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, remove the roasted garlic from their skins and combine with the raw garlic.  Set aside.

Once cool, the skin from the yam should be loose and easy to peel off. Place the peeled yam in a small bowl and smash with a fork until pureed.  Set aside.

Heat a olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions, curry and chopped thyme. 

Cook until onions are translucent and thyme is super fragrant, about 6 minutes.  Add the two types of garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and the potato puree, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer the soup until raw garlic is soft and tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove soup from heat and blend, in two or three batches, in a blender until smooth.  

Return soup to the pot and add yogurt or cream.  Stir until yogurt has dissolved; a whisk helps incorporate the thick yogurt into the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle with olive oil, a dash of fresh lemon juice and a generous shaving of Parmesan cheese.

Soup can be made one day in advance, and develops really well in the fridge.  Soup lasts, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. 

Also tastes well served chilled.

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