I used two types of potatoes because the baking potatoes fall apart when they are boiled which adds a thickness to the soup. The Russet pototoes hold together better for some substance. I also left the skins on the potatoes because that is where much of the flavor and nutrition resides. For this reason it's best to use organic potatoes to avoid chemicals. You could also peel the potatoes.
- 3 tbls olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 pound Russet potatoes
- 1 pound baking potatoes
- 1 head of garlic, roasted
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Several leaves of kale or other green leafy vegetable (optional)
- Red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Roast the garlic (can be done a day or 2 a head):
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin but leave the skins of the cloves intact. Cut 1/4 - 1/2 inch off the top of the bulb to expose the cloves. Place in a garlic roaster and drizzle with some olive oil. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. The cloves will feel soft. Allow to cool to the touch or refrigerate and use in a day or two.
For the soup:
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and the bay leaves and cook them slowly. While the onions are cooking quarter and slice the baking potato, quarter the Russets.
Add the potatoes to the pot then raise the heat, sauté, stirring frequently until the onions start to brown, about 10 minutes. Don't worry if a glaze starts to build up on the pan, you want that for more flavor. Add some salt and 1 cup of water. Loosen the glaze and solids from the bottom of the pan by scraping then add 2 more quarts of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Remove the cloves of garlic from the skins by squeezing or using a cocktail fork, add them to the soup as it cooks. Meanwhile steam the greens for a few minutes then drain. Remove the bay leaves then process the soup until smooth using an emersion blender or carefully with a standing blender. Add the kale. Ladle into soup bowls, top with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese if desired.
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