The weather out here has suddenly turned. We are experiencing cold nights and chilly mornings. We had some rain and there is even snow in the mountains. It’s ironic because the east coast is still experiencing smoldering heat. The lovely fall weather out here has inspired me to make soup. This is a hearty soup with smoky flavors and a little bit of health consciously added omega 3. As promised, I’m sharing a Roasted Garlic and Smoked Salmon Potato Soup.
As you know garlic has several benefits. It has the power to give your immune system a boost and prevent colds. I think that alone makes it a perfect cooking ingredient at this time of the year when cold and flu season starts to take over our lives. Garlic also contains antioxidants that may help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. So, I consider it to be brain food and when garlic is complimented with salmon, it’s an extra boost. Salmon is one of nature’s best sources of DHA, an essential fatty acid important for brain health. The smoky flavor of smoked salmon makes it the perfect substitute for fatty unhealthy bacon, which might usually be incorporated into a potato soup to enhance the flavors. That also makes this combination of roasted garlic and smoked salmon in this soup awesome to settle down with on a cold evening after or before taking a moment to meditate. So, here is my version of Roasted Garlic and Smoked Salmon Potato Soup.
Roasted Garlic and Smoked Salmon Potato Soup
1 whole head garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons diced onion
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1 and 3/4 cups chicken stock
2 large red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (you can use new potatoes, but I like the bits of red skin in the soup for added color)
1/4 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
1 Bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons smoked salmon, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced Directions
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Cut off the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves, trimming about 1/4 inch off of the top of each clove. You may need to trim individual cloves along the sides of the head. Brush the cut cloves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then nestle the head into a piece of aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven until the cloves are tender and nicely browned, about 25 minutes.
Remove roasted garlic from oven, open foil and allow to cool slightly. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, cut the heads in half horizontally so that all of the cloves are exposed. Squeeze both halves to release the roasted cloves into a medium bowl. Keep ¼ of the garlic cloves and set aside the rest for other use, such as garlic bread (perfect to compliment the soup).
While the garlic is roasting, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and the carrot and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the saucepan and add the potatoes, rosemary, Bay leaf, and thyme. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove about 1/2 of the potatoes from the pot and reserve. Place the roasted garlic cloves into a blender and add the soup, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the contents moving before letting it run. Puree the soup, in batches, until smooth. Pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot by adding the garlic to it.
Stir the reserved potato cubes, heavy cream, and smoked salmon into the pureed soup and bring to a simmer. Serve, hot, with a sprinkle of green onion. I like to garnish with a few bits of smoked salmon as well.