Sunday, March 21, 2010

Roasted Garlic and Shallot Potato Soup with 'Cheesy' Croutons

This soup is perfect for the tail-end of winter, when you've run out of ideas for all those root vegetables, but spring produce hasn't quite hit the shelves yet!

Remove the white papery outer skin from 2 large heads of garlic, but don't peel or separate the cloves. Chop off the tops of the garlic heads, but leave their roots intact. Place in a roasting pan or baking dish, drizzle with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil , and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Add 5 unpeeled shallots to the pan. Drizzle with an additional 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, and sprinkle with an additional 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Re-cover with the foil and return to the oven for 25 more minutes.

Let cool, before squeezing the pulp from the garlic (discard the skins) and peeling the shallots. Set the garlic pulp and the peeled shallots aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 and 1/4 teaspoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally - the onion should be browned by the end. Add the garlic pulp, the peeled shallots, and 1/2 cup dry white wine (I chose an organic, unfiltered Sancerre); reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.

Add 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth, 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed and peeled baking potato, and 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cool slightly before transferring to a blender; process until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk), 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper; cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

While the soup is in its last few minutes of cooking, make the croutons: slice 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices of French bread baguette. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and lightly coat the tops of the bread with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.

Combine 6 tablespoons crumbled soy blue cheese (such as Sunergia) and 1 tablespoon shredded vegan cheese in place of Parmesan (I used the vegan Gouda from Sheese). Sprinkle the 'cheese' blend over the toast slices. (The original recipe said to turn the bread over and sprinkle the cheese on both sides, but it seemed to me that doing so would only make the cheese fall off onto the baking sheet, so I sprinkled one side only). Bake for a final 3 minutes.

Ladle 1 cup of soup into each of 4 bowls, and serve each bowl with 2 croutons (preferably when they are warm from the oven!). Each serving is 290 calories. Because this soup is so pungent and flavorful, I recommend serving it with a good stout (like Sierra Nevada stout), rather than wine!

Note: Sheese is available online at

garlic $0.99
shallots $1.08
onion $1.00
dry white wine $19.99
vegetable broth $3.49
baking potato $0.57
baguette $1.29

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance