Soup on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ “–  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Montgomery, Alabama, 1957.

One of life’s purposes for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was to help others.  On #MLKJr Day we are reminded of his achievements which have influenced the lives we live today.  With so much we have received, in terms of our life and liberty, we must honor Dr. Kings words and why not get into a better practice of giving back and helping others.

I like to help serving to feed hunger and making sure those who serve us receive only the finest.  You can ship care packages to our soldiers through Support Our Troops.  They have a list of all the goodies you can send to America’s finest.  You can always donate food to a Second Harvest Food Bank, they have several around California.

It’s so easy to volunteer and donate now, but to truly take action with your own hands is the ultimate gratification.  Volunteering at a Soup Kitchen or creating your own campaign is a gracious step.  With that, I leave you with a soup recipe.  The days are still cold and something hearty is fitting, so this recipe is a re-post of Roasted Garlic and Smoked Salmon Potato Soup.  Share with loved ones, drop a container of soup off at you neighbors for them to enjoy after a day of hard work, or simply sit back and reflect.

Roasted Garlic and Smoked Salmon Potato Soup

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir the reserved potato cubes, heavy cream, and smoked salmon into the pureed soup and bring to a simmer.
  7. Serve, hot, with a sprinkle of green onion.
  8. Garnish with a few bits of smoked salmon. (optional)
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